CAF club competitions: Rangers, Rivers United through to next round

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•Wikki, FC IfeanyiUbah crash out

By Joe Apu

It was a mixed feeling of joy and sadness for Nigerian clubs on the continent last night, as Rangers International of Enugu recorded a 0-0 draw in their game against Algeria’s JS Saoura in Enugu while Rivers United recorded an emphatic 4-0 win against AS Real Bamako of Mali, as both sides went through to the next round in the Total CAF Champions League.

The story was, however, not the same for Wikki Tourists of Bauchi that fell out of the race in the Total CAF Confederation Cup.

Rangers by the result will now face 2016 Champions League runners-up, Zamalek of Egypt in the round of 32 of the 2017 CAF Champions League.

The Nigerian side drew 1-1 away against Algeria’s JS Saoura away from home, before drawing 0-0 in Nigeria to progress to the next stage by away goals as the two games ended 1-1.

Rangers qualified for the Champions League as the 2016 Nigerian league champions, while the Whites qualified as the Egyptian Premier League runners-up.

Five-time winners, Zamalek will host the flying antelopes on weekend of March 10-12 before traveling for the second leg, which is set to be held between 17 and 19 March.

It’s worth mentioning that this is Enugu Rangers’ tenth Champions League appearances as their last one came in 2013, and they never won the trophy before, despite reaching the final in 1975, when they lost the title to Guinea’s Hafia FC.

Rivers United on the other hand left no one in doubt regarding its determination, as the club defeated Mali’s AS Real Bamako 4-0 at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt.

Bernard Ovoke netted the opener from the spot in the 29th minute, while Esosa Igbinoba added the second on 57 minutes, following a pass by Ivorian striker, Guy Kuemian.

Ovoke got his second goal from another penalty on the half hour mark, while Igbinoba fired home the fourth seven minutes from time.

The Pride of Rivers will face Al-Merreikh of Sudan in the next round of the competition.

In the CAF Confederation Cup, Wikki Tourists were eliminated from the competition despite beating Royal Armed Forces Football Club of Sierra Leone 1-0 at home.

The Bauchi Elephants lost out 2-1 on aggregate.

FC IfeanyiUbah, Nigeria’s other representative in the competition also lost to Al Masry of Egypt 3-0 on penalties after a 1-1 aggregate.

FC IfeanyiUbah had last week won the first leg by a lone goal in Nnewi only to lose by the same margin yesterday in Egypt.

In the penalty shoot out that followed FC IfeanyiUbah lost all their kicks, while Al Masry scored three to progress.   

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