RUSTENBURG – Platinum Stars and Algerian side MC Alger played to a 1-1 draw in the CAF Confederation Cup at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Sunday.
But, even though Stars were the home side, they played second fiddle to the organised Algerians for most of the 90 minutes.
It seemed as if the achievement of being in the competition at this prestigious stage hindered Stars initially as the visitors from
Alger went 1-0 up in the sixth minute when Brahim Bedbouda headed in from a corner.
It meant that Stars had to come out and play, but they found it tough going against the well-organised, highly structured Alger defence.
The South Africans kept plugging away, though, and they were rewarded for their perseverance when Katlego Khunou netted the equaliser with a powerful shot in the 43rd minute.
The Algerians had two opportunities to score early on in the second half, but Stars goalkeeper Steven Hoffman was equal to the task with two smart saves.
At the other end, there was also action when Stars pressed forward and they had a great chance to score, but Alger’s keeper Faouzi Chaouchi dealt adequately with Benson Shilongo’s attempt.
Alger, though, were in the ascendancy for much of the second half and put the home side under tremendous pressure, with Amir Karaoui squandering two inviting openings.
Stars went to their bench to try to change things when coach Cavin Johnson substituted Shilongo and brought in striker Bongi Ntuli. It added a bit more offensive spark to the Rustenburg side’s offensive approach as they tried desperately to snatch a late goal.
Unfortunately, though, it wasn’t to be and 1-1 was the way it ended.African News Agency (ANA)