Tunisia captain Khazri powers Saint-Etienne to victory on his return from injury |

The 30-year-old scored the only goal that gave Claude Puel’s side maximum points at the Stade Raymond-Kopa

Tunisia skipper Wahbi Khazri returned to Ligue 1 action after two weeks on the sidelines to make the difference in Saint-Etienne’s 1-0 defeat of Angers on Saturday.

The former Sunderland and Rennes forward just recovered from a thigh muscle strain he suffered during the Greens’ 1-1 draw with Reims on February 20.

He was immediately thrown into the fray for the clash at Angers on Saturday and Claude Puel’s decision turned out well as Saint-Etienne ended their back-to-back Ligue 1 losses in his absence (vs. Lorient and Lens).

Following a goalless first-half, Khazri broke the deadlock at the Stade Raymond-Kopa with his 52nd-minute goal which separated both teams for the entire duration.

The effort was the 30-year-old’s second goal in the French top-flight this season after 13 matches.

The Tunisia international was in action for 82 minutes alongside Gabon’s Denis Bouanga, Guinea’s Saidou Sow, Algeria’s Ryad Boudebouz and Senegal’s Pape Cisse who were on parade for Saint-Etienne.

Angers, on the other hand, had a host of African stars on parade including Morocco’s Sofiane Boufal, Cameroon’s Stephane Bahoken, Guinea’s Lassana Coulibaly and Ivory Coast trio of Souleyman Doumbia, Ismael Traore and Abdoulaye Bamba.

Saturday’s result moved Saint-Etienne to 16th in the Ligue 1 table with 33 points after 29 matches – eight points adrift of the drop zone.

Khazri will be expected to build on his match-winning goal when the Greens host Monaco for their next outing on March 19.

The 30-year-old has struggled with injury crisis this season. He was first hit with a thigh muscle injury on December 20 against Nimes which ruled him out of action until February.

On the international scene, Tunisia have already qualified for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon after gathering 10 points from four games which put them at the summit of Group J.

However, the 30-year-old could be summoned when the Carthage Eagles battle Libya and Tanzania in their final qualifying fixtures later this month.

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