By Albert Akota
Enugu Rangers failed to earn a place in the quarter-final stage of the CAF Confederation Cup after they were handed a 1-0 defeat by Tunisia’s CS Sfaxien in their matchday- six encounter at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Enugu yesterday.
Nadir Korichi scored the only goal of the Group B clash 17 minutes from time.
Rangers dominated possession but wasted a number of goal scoring opportunities in the game.
The Flying Antelopes finished in third position in the group with five points from six games.
The Coal City club were looking to become the first Nigerian club to win the competition, but their hopes were dashed by the North Africans who put up a disciplined performance in the game.
Gbenga Ogunbote’s men will now concentrate their attention on the Nigeria Professional Football League and the Aiteo Federation Cup.
Sfaxien who had already booked a place in the quarter-finals before the game top the group with 12 points.
Their Tunisian rivals, Etoile du Sahel who also defeated Burkina Faso‘s Salitas finished in second position with 10 points. Salitas finished in last position with just four points from six games.
Another Nigeria’s representative in the CAF Champions League Lobi Stars also crashed out of the competition on Saturday despite recording a 2-0 win against Ivorien club ASEC Mimosas.
The Pride of Benue as Lobi Stars are fondly referred to were already down and out even before the kickoff against the visiting Ivorian team, but they had stated in clear terms that they would be gunning for victory nonetheless in Saturday’s tie.
Lobi Stars got the opening goal in the third minute when Mathias Samuel with a cutback pass located an unmark Alimi in the ASEC box and the striker calmly poked in the ball from close range.
Alimi doubled Lobi’s lead in the 39th minute scoring in a similar fashion but this time getting the needed pass from Dare Ojo.
Before Saturday’s game, Lobi Stars had scored just two goals in five matches and the two goals were scored in the matchday 1 tie against Mamelodi Sundowns.
Regardless of Saturday’s win (the second in the group stage), Lobi Stars still ended their campaign as the bottom team in Group A with seven points, ASEC on their part finished third also with seven points after six games but with a better goals’ difference.
Wydad Casablanca who has a Nigerian Babatunde Michael in their team finished top in Group A while South African side finished as the runners-up in the group and they have both qualified for the quarter-final of the lucrative club competition.