Minnows make Sfaxien huff and puff

African Confederation Cup title holders CS Sfaxien of Tunisia left it until late to seal a 2-0 victory over JC Abidjan Treichville of Ivory Coast at the weekend.

African Confederation Cup title holders CS Sfaxien of Tunisia left it until late to seal a 2-0 victory over JC Abidjan Treichville of Ivory Coast at the weekend.

Expected to win the third-round tie convincingly at home, Sfaxien were just one goal ahead of their inexperienced rivals until Issam Merdassi struck five minutes from full time.

Hamza Younes had nudged the Tunisians ahead in the opening minute of the second half at the Taieb Mhiri Stadium in the Mediterranean city of Sfax, scene of many Sfaxien international triumphs.

They are chasing a third consecutive title in the second-tier African club competition that caters for national cup winners, select third-placed league teams and losers in the final qualifying round of the Champions League.

Assuming Sfaxien survive their visit to Abidjan early next month, clubs who could pose serious threats in the mini-league phase include ENPPI, Harras al-Hodoud of Egypt and Entente Setif of Algeria.

ENPPI beat Zambian air force club Red Arrows 4-0, Entente beat Recreativo Lobilo of Angola by the same scoreline and Harras beat Tunisia's EGS Gafsa 3-0, all at home.

The three are virtually guaranteed places in the next round when the Champions League losers enter a competition offering a R2,9million first prize. - Sapa-AFP

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