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Nkana stretch unbeaten CAF home record to 61 matches

Johannesburg (AFP) – Zambian club Nkana FC extended a record of never losing at home in a CAF competition to 61 matches by defeating Tunisian outfit CS Sfaxien 2-1 Sunday in a Confederation Cup quarter-final.

A goal in each half from Kelvin Kampamba and Congolese Freddy Tshimenga gave the hosts a two-goal advantage that was halved six minutes from time by substitute Habib Oueslati.

The teams meet again next Sunday in Tunisia with record three-time Confederation Cup winners Sfaxien hoping to win the second leg and the tie.

Sfaxien boast an unbeaten CAF home record this season, scoring 10 goals in five matches, while Nkana have drawn one game on the road and lost three, conceding nine times.

Nkana supporters must wish the side could replicate on their travels a magnificent home record of 44 victories and 17 draws since debuting in Africa 36 years ago.

A fallen Kampamba broke the deadlock after 36 minutes at the rudimentary Nkana Stadium in mining city Kitwe by scooping the ball into the net from close range.

Tshimenga headed the second goal seven minutes after half-time while Sfaxien were distracted after having a penalty appeal rejected by the Seychellois referee.

With six minutes remaining, Oueslati got the goal likely to have a major bearing on the overall result by slamming the ball past Kelvin Mulenga from just outside the six-yard box.

Meanwhile, Etoile Sahel, twice Confederation Cup winners and the other Tunisian challengers in the second-tier African club competition, won 3-1 at home against Al Hilal from Sudan.

Penalties played a major role in Mediterranean resort Sousse with Yassine Chikhaoui converting a spot-kick in each half for Etoile. 

Zied Boughattas temporarily abandoned his defensive duties to give the Tunisians a 30th-minute lead that Chikhaoui doubled four minutes later at Stade Olympique.

Athar el Tahir pulled one goal back for Hilal just before the hour mark only for Chikhaoui to convert another penalty nine minutes from time.

The six-win CAF home record of Gor Mahia from Kenya this season came to an abrupt end as they fell 2-0 in Nairobi against Renaissance Berkane of Morocco.

Berkane reached the Confederation Cup quarter-finals last year and are poised to go at least one stage further this season after an impressive performance.  

Francis Kahata conceded an own goal on 24 minutes and Badr el Helali increased the lead after 59 minutes at Kasarani Stadium against a Gor side lacking four suspended stars.

While Renaissance are virtually certain to reach the semi-finals, compatriots Hassania Agadir are less likely to do so after being held 0-0 at home by Zamalek of Egypt.

The Cairo White Knights, winners of nine CAF competitions, are seeking a first title in 16 years.

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