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SFAX - Title holders holders CS Sfaxien of Tunisia regained top spot in Group A of the African Confederation Cup with a 1-0 win over Harras al-Hodoud of Egypt at the weekend.
The 26th-minute winner in the Mediterranean town of Sfax was a gift from Hodoud goalkeeper Mathurin Kameni, an elder brother of Cameroon and Espanyol guardian Carlos.
He allowed a low freekick from defender Issam Merdassi to slip under his body into the net at the 20000-seat Taieb Mhiri Stadium for the lone goal of a match in which Sfaxien created most of the scoring chances.
Kameni crowned a disastrous performance when he was sent off a minute from fulltime by the Mauritanian referee for fouling Ghanaian Agyemang Opoku on the edge of the penalty area.
Hodoud had used three substitutes. That forced coach Tarek al-Ashry to place striker Ahmed Abdulghani between the posts. Abdulghani did well to tip over a freekick seconds before the final whistle.
It was swift revenge for Sfaxien, bidding to become the first club to successfully defend the title, who crashed 3-1 at African debutants Harras last weekend.
Sfaxien have seven points and Hodoud six from four outings, while Club Africain of Tunisia have four and InterClube of Angola three ahead of a clash in Luanda on Sunday.
Winners of the two groups qualify for a two-leg final in November, with the club emerging victorious receiving $330000 and a chance to tackle the African Champions League victors for the African Super Cup.
l African Champions League semifinals line-up after Cotonsport Garoua of Cameroon and Enyimba of Nigeria qualified from Group B this weekend: Group A runners-up Dynamos (Zimbabwe), ASEC Mimosas (Cote d'Ivoire) or Zamalek (Egypt) v Cotonsport Garoua (Cameroon); Enyimba (Nigeria) v Al-Ahly (Egypt). First leg: October 3-5, second: October 17-19 - Sapa-AFP