Nairobi — Premier League champions Tusker FC will rue their missed opportunities as they played out to a 0-0 draw with Tunisian side CS Sfaxien in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup play-off round on Sunday evening.
The brewers had the chances to score especially in the opening half, but their lack of sharpness infront of goal was their main undoing as they went for the fourth match in the last five without scoring a goal.
Tusker were dropping to the second tier Confederation Cup after elimination from the Champions League and with a historic group stage berth at stake, they needed a huge lift.
They thought they had broken the deadlock after 15 minutes when Jackson Macharia had the ball inside the box from Daniel Sakari's long throw, but the referee chalked off the goal for an apparent handball in the build up.
On the other end, Sfaxien who were playing on the backfoot for most of the opening minutes had their first opportunity at goal when Aymen Harzi broke into the box, but his shot was saved by keeper Brian Bwire.
The brewers had back to back chances on the hour mark but both went begging. First, off a quickly started short corner, Sakari floated the ball inside the box but Ibrahim Joshua's header at the backpost was inches wide.
A minute later, the brewers had another very close opportunity at goal when Boniface Muchiri picked up the ball from distance, took a drive at goal but his effort was inches off target.
Tusker survived what looked like a clear goal when Harzi skipped beyond Hillary Wandera on the right, dribbled past Bwire in goal but Kalos Kirenge made a brilliant tackle to deflect the shot at goal with Eugene Asike clearing.
Tusker lost Wandera who was stretchered off with an awful injury after he fell on his arm as he tried to defend Harzi, suffering a horrible twist of the elbow.
The brewers brought on Kevin Monyi, with Sakari switching to the left side of defense.
In the second half, the pace of the game hugely dropped down, with Tusker enjoying possession but lacking the killer instinct to break the Sfaxien backline that were comfortably sitting infront of their own box.
Tusker made changes with John Njuguna, Deogratious Ojok and Teddy Osok coming in to refresh the team and add some punch in attack, but they couldn't get the much needed goal.
Tusker now travel to Sfax for the return tie next Sunday, needing a win or a scoring draw to book a first ever slot in the group phase of the Confederation Cup.