FUS win Confederation Cup

Two late second half goals have given FUS Rabat a historic 3-2 victory over CS Sfaxien in the final of the CAF Confederation cup this evening and deservedly gave the Moroccan side their first continental trophy.   After a goalless draw in the reverse fixture, both teams entered the game with good reason to hope to be crowned CAF Confederation Cup champions in Sfax tonight. Moments after kick-off, Esperance playmaker Kamel Zaiem nearly scored one of the goals of the tournament but was denied by the crossbar from over thirty yards out. Despite this, it was the visiting Moroccans who were able to turn the tie on its head when Abdelfettah Boukhriss headed home a corner kick cross on eight minutes.   The early away goal put Pierre Lechantre’s men in a difficult situation given that they had to score at least two of their own if they were to lift their record fourth trophy in this particular continental competition. However, as they pressed forward for the equalizer, FUS Rabat remained more dangerous thanks to their reliance on piercing counter attacks and could have scored a killer second on more than one occasion but their finishing was not as impressive as their build up play.   Sfaxien came to life in the 26th minute when FUS defender Daniel Monchare came within inches of gifting the Tunisians their much needed opener as he attempted to intercept a cross from Zaiem but ended up lifting it over his goalkeeper and onto his own woodwork. Dominic Da Silva would later have a long distance effort acrobatically denied by the opposing goalkeeper to the dismay of the packed Taieb Mhiri stadium.   Just as it seemed that Houssine Ammouta’s side would manage to take their lead into the halftime break, Hamdi Rouid latched onto a Lassad Dridi free kick and slotted the ball into the net to restore parity and pull his team back into the final.   Things got even better for CSS in the second half when Jerome Damon awarded them a penalty when Rachid Rokki brought down Dridi in the box. Set piece specialist Zaiem took charge of the penalty kick and confidently placed his effort high and past Issam Badda’s outstretched frame. Hamza Younes could have added a third a mere two minutes later but he put his shot wide with the goalmouth gaping after Da Silva had cleverly dispossessed Badda.   Even though the “Arab Juventus” were controlling the tempo for much of the second half, the score would change yet again in the 75th minute when a FUS free kick was initially countered by a Sfaxien defender but bounced to Zouidi who beat Jassem Khalloufi from close range to tip the cup towards the visitors once more. CSS pushed numbers forward to get the winner but it was the Moroccans who benefitted from this, and capped off a sleek counter attack with a lovely chipped goal from Zouidi again to put the tie beyond doubt.   The victory has given FUS Rabat their first continental trophy in what has been an incredible journey for the Moroccan side who were also crowned cup winners in their country a mere two weeks ago. On the other hand, CSS have been left to rue their lack of ambition in Rabat in the first leg which put them under a great amount of pressure in front of their own fans. 

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