CAF Champions League: Rangers, Rivers Utd face tough North African tests

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By Paul Erewuba

Rangers International of Enugu will today in Cairo confront Zamalek in the first-leg of the round of 32 of CAF Champions League.
Rangers will be guests to the Egyptian giants, while Rivers United will host Sudanese club El-Merreikh also today at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt in the same competition.
Rangers, under the tutelage of Imama Amapakabo left the shores of the country with high hopes, and with the aim of scoring atleast one or two goals away to make the second leg in Enugu a mere formality.
Speaking ahead of today’s encounter before the team left for Egypt, Rangers forward Edoh Ocheme said he is confident his team would score goals in the first leg.
According to him, “Zamalek is just a name, same as Enugu Rangers. And there is nothing so spectacular but the inputs of the players into the team.
“We are not afraid or scared of any team in the continent as far as our determination to excel in the CAF Champions League is concerned. I believe we will make it brilliantly in Cairo. We are going all out to attack not to defend in the encounter.
“Of late in the domestic front where we have been wrongly written off, we have been scoring goals. That’s the mentality we are taking into the Zamalek match.
“I strongly believe we will score goals in Cairo to make  the reverse fixture really tough for them.    “Of course, we know they will not find it easy in Nigeria once we are able to hold them in Cairo.”
In the same vein, former Nigeria international Moses Kpakor has tipped Enugu Rangers and  Rivers United to earn favourable results in today’s matches.
Speaking while assessing the chances of both Nigerina teams, Kpakor who won the 1990 CAF Cup Winners’ Cup (now defunct) with BCC Lions, says Rangers’ game against Algeria’s JS Saoura in the preliminary round will give them an idea of how to approach the game against Zamalek.
“I think Rangers have what it takes to overcome Zamalek.
“I don’t really see Zamalek as  a huge threat, fine they made it to the final last year but before then, they’d been away for a very long time. “I believe Rangers game against JS Saoura should give them an idea of what to expect against Zamalek because one thing about the North African teams is that their approach is always the same.”

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