Ruud Krol lauds Sfaxien players as Zesco's Lwandamina refuses to mourn elimination

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Sunday’s derbies saw Sfaxien beat Etoile to qualify for the last eight while Zesco were defeated by Nkana to exit the tournament

Cs Sfaxien coach Ruud Krol has applauded his players’ performance in beating Tunisian rivals Etoile du Sahel at home and progress to the Caf Confederation Cup quarter-finals.

Second half goals by Firas Chaouat and Nassim Hnid saw Sfaxien beat Etoile 2-1 at the Stade Taieb Mhiri.

Although Etoile tried to comeback through Sadam Ben Aziza’s goal, the hosts were resilient and ensured victory despite finishing the match with 10 men after midfielder Mohamed Manser was red-carded.

This left Krol admitting that it was not an easy outing for his charges whom he however commended for their showing.

“The game was like a real life battle, it wasn’t easy. Etoile played very well,” Krol was quoted as saying by Cafonline.

“We scored first but they responded quickly and tied. Fortunately, we managed to score the second goal. I am very happy with the qualification and with my players’ performance.”

The result saw Sfaxien completing a double over Etoile whom they edged 1-0 away in their Group B opening match.

The Tunisians became the second team to qualify for the quarter-finals with a match to spare with the other side being RSB Berkane.

While Sfaxien and Berkane were celebrating reaching the next round, Zesco United were reflecting on their exit from the tournament as the only team to have so far been eliminated at this stage.

Zesco were condemned by the 3-0 drubbing away at Zambian rivals Nkana in the Copperbelt derby.

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But Zesco coach George Lwandamina refused to shed tears over the early exit of his team that still has a number of players who helped them reach the Caf Champions League semifinals in 2016.

"We have gone out but we will move on from here. We have built on lessons learnt here and I am sure we will emerge stronger,” Lwandamina said.

Zesco will now host Asante Kotoko in their next match.

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