Wasteful Tusker fire blanks against Sfaxien in Caf Confederation Cup
FOOTBALL By Washington Onyango | November 28th 2021
Tusker wasted a host of chances as Tunisian side CS Sfaxien held them to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup playoff round played at Nyayo Stadium on Sunday.
With a lucrative Sh27 million group stage at stake, the local champions headed into the match with an aim to win and have the advantage heading into the second leg in but would be disappointed after 90 minutes as Sfaxien stood their ground and forced a draw.
Despite dominating the majority of ball possession, Robert Matano’s charges failed to hit the net and are now faced with an uphill task of beating the Tunisian side this coming weekend in Algiers for them to be able to qualify.
The match started on a high with Tusker dominating early possession as Humphrey Mieno, Boniface Muchiri and Clyde Senaji controlled the pace of the game in the opening ten minutes.
The brewer's dominance saw Ibrahim Joshua force Aymen Dahmen in goal for Sfaxien to make a fingertip save in the 12th minute that led to a corner.
Minutes later, Tusker thought they had taken the led from a Daniel Sakari long throw-in which was headed in by Jackson Macharia after a scramble in the visitor's goal but the centre referee would rule the goal out for infringement.
In the 20th minute, Sfaxien had their first shot in target with Brian Bwire making a fine save to deny Aymen Harzi.
Moments later, Mohamed Sali received the ball from the right-wing, rounded off Hillary Wandera but his shot would miss the target far post inches wide.
At the half-hour mark, Tusker should have taken the lead after Tanzanian striker Joshua found himself unmarked inside the box but he sent his glancing header wide off the right-hand post with Sfaxien keeper Dahmen beaten.
Muchiri also tried finding goal from range but his long driven flied inches wide.
Five minutes to the break, Kirenge Kalos made a brilliant tackle deny Harzi after he had skipped past a surging Bwire before captain Eugene Asike cleared the ball for a corner.
The match would then be immediately stopped for almost 10 minutes after Tusker left-back Wandera fell awkwardly and dislocated his elbow. He was then replaced by Kevin Monyi.
Upon resumption, Asike marshalled his defence to withstand numerous set pieces attempts by the visitors as they went to the break tied at 0-0.
In the final half, Sfaxien coach introduced Mohammed Amine in place of Chris Banhourin in an attempt to change the tempo of the game but it was Tusker again who were first on the offensive with Mieno trying his luck with an overhead kick inside the box, but the ball goes straight to the keeper's arms.
Despite numerous attempts, both sides could not scores and while now square it out again over the weekend.
While Tusker was relegated to the Caf Confederation Cup after the heavy loss to Zamalek, CS Sfaxien beat Nigerian Premier League side Bayelsa 5-0 on aggregate in the first round.
Kenyan youngster’s dream comes true as he joins French club