Enyimba and Enugu Rangers, both the Nigerian football clubs were beaten recently by North African clubs in the group phase matches of the CAF Confederation Cup.
As a result, Salisu Yusuf the new coach at Enugu Rangers lost his first match at the club after taking charge of the affairs. The sending off of Temitope Olusesi, the defender of the team didn’t help matters much as they crashed to a 3-1 defeat at home against Pyramids, their Egyptian opponents.
On the other hand, Enyimba, the two-time African champions conceded 2 goals within a time span of 19 minutes from the kick-off, and lost 2-0 at the hands of Hassania Agadir, the Moroccan outfit which had successfully reached the quarter-final stage last season. Many soccer prediction services are hoping for them to perform even better this time.
Enugu Rangers had a tough time after the first goal
Salisu Yusuf of Enugu Rangers is also the assistant coach of the Nigerian football team and was brought into the side as a replacement of Benedict Ugwu, who had lost his job at Rangers recently. He could win only one match for the team in the first five rounds of their domestic league.
The Rangers were put ahead in the game in the 29th minute by Ibrahim Olawoyin, however, they had a tough time thereafter, especially post Olusesi’s dismissal because of a second yellow card ahead of the halftime whistle.
Mohamed Farouk of the Pyramids scored the equaliser through a penalty kick 9 minutes into the 2nd half of the game, followed by Islam Attia and Tunisian Amor Layouni scoring one goal each during the closing stages of the match. The Cairo-based club which used to be earlier known as Al Assiouty Sport was purchased by Saudi Turki al Sheikh and he had pumped a lot of funds into it, hiring multiple Egyptian stars and foreign coaches. Hence, when the ownership was handed to Emirati Salem Al Shamsi recently, he didn’t spare any expense in strengthening the team even further, with a target of giving a tough fight to the conventional Egyptian football Giants Zamalek and Al Ahly, and going after the CAF titles too.
Sebastien Desabre, the French coach of the team is clear that his aim is to compete with defending champions Zamalek, as well as Ahly for the league title and to win the Confederation Cup right now, which is considered the equivalent of Europa League in Africa.
Scoring a victory in Nigeria helped Pyramids maintain their 100% away record so far in the CAF competition, after scoring victories in Tanzania, Algeria and Congo Brazzaville.
The other match in the group A also resulted in a victory for an Egyptian club. Karim el Eraky scored a goal in the stoppage time and bagged a 3-2 win for his side Al Masry, against Nouadhibou.At the moment, Masry and Pyramids have both 3 points each and will go into their next matches with the home advantage, allowing them to firm their grip on the group.
Enyimba lost too
In the group D encounter between Hassania and Enyimba, the former wasted no time in taking control of the game against Enyimba, the former CAF Champions League winners of 2003 and 2004. The winning goals were scored by MalickCisse and Karim el Berkaoui.