After a goalless first half, the hosts stunned their more illustrious opponents, when striker Bongi Ntuli scored in the 58th minute, which led to a period of pressure where Stars looked to build on their lead.
This was Stars’ first match since their 3-0 drubbing by the same opposition in Tunisia on June 4, which led to the somewhat unfortunate sacking of head coach Cavin Johnson.
While the hosts await the arrival of their new mentor, former Botswana national team mentor Peter Butler, legendary ex-Bafana Bafana, Orlando Pirates and Stars defender Willem Jackson, laid down the battle plan from the bench, and seemed to be getting the desired response, until Sfaxien midfielder Maher Hannachi scored past goalkeeper Mbongeni Mzimela in the 76th minute.
The Stars midfield showed great enterprise with their Malawian midfield kingpin Robert Ng’ambi once again at the forefront.
Undoubtedly one of the most underrated midfielders in the PSL, Ng’ambi came close to getting the ball into the back of the net early in the second half, before sending a header just wide of the upright with three minutes of play remaining.
With or without former coach Johnson, Stars have done well to progress this far in the tournament based on the player talent available, and the players will have learnt much from their African experience.
Down and out of the running with just two points from four group matches, they will wind up their campaign away to log leader MC Alger in Algiers, Algeria on June 30 and at home to Mbabane Swallows on July 7.
Sfaxien meanwhile, now have nine points from four matches, and are involved in a battle-royal with MC Alger (eight points from four games) at the top of the table, with both sides being chased by Swallows (four points from four games) as far as the top two teams qualifying for the quarterfinals are concerned.
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