Football fans on Monday, February 20, said the ouster of FC IfeanyiUbah and Wikki Tourists from the CAF Confederation Cup was a repeat of previous poor performances of Nigerian clubs in the continental competitions.
Nigeria’s representatives in the CAF Confederation Cup were eliminated from the competition on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Wikki Tourist was eliminated from the competition in Sierra Leone, losing 0-2 to the hosts, Royal Armed Forces FC in spite of a lone goal advantage in Bauchi.
The Elephant of Bauchi lost out 2-1 on the aggregate. The other representative and the FA Cup winners FC IfeanyiUbah were unlucky as they crashed out losing to Club Al Masry of Egypt on penalties.
FC IfeanyiUbaj had defeated the Egyptian club 1-0 in the first leg at the IfeanyiUbah International Stadium, Nnewi with goal from Tamen Medrano.
Al Masry of Egypt, however, put up a good fight in Port Said with a solitary penalty kick converted by Ahmed Shoukry in the first half forcing the tie into a penalty shootout.
The home team, captained by former Egypt Striker Hossam Hassan has their goalkeeper Boska Shoukry to thank as he saved two penalties from FC IfeanyiUbah.
Goals from Osama Azab, Saeed Mourad and Ahmed Shourky ensured the elimination of FC IfeanyiUbah from the competition.
Commenting of the poor outing in the CAF Cup, a football pundict, Tomiwa Babalola, said that Wikki Tourists seemed not to be prepared for the continental championships.
“The Wikki Tourists team seems to me that they are not prepared for the continental challenge. They have the opportunity against a lesser team which they failed to appreciate.
“They should have ensured that they won convincingly at home. Lone goal in a continental championship cannot do the job. Chances must not be missed because it is a technical game.
“I think inexperience accounted for their loss because one would have thought that Wikki Tourists faced a team that is not much of a headache like IfeanyiUbah,’’ he said.
On FC IfeanyiUbah’s elimination Babalola, said that the team did not take their chances hence their elimination.
“FC IfeanyiUbah should have made use of the home advantage. They had their chances but they fizzled it out. The team still needs experience on how to prosecute international matches.
“Maybe the coach, Yaw Preko, was also not too grounded in the continental championships. I only pity the investment of the proprietor of the club Patrick Ubah.
“The proprietor will not be happy with the outcome of the match which means he will have to wait,’’ he said.
Dayo Otemolu, a retired sports journalist, said that the crashing out of both teams in the same competition was a setback to the aspirations of Nigerian clubs in the continental championships.
“This is a serious setback for Nigerian clubs. We have long been waiting for them to give us a reason to smile in the continent.
“Its long any Nigerian club made appreciable impact in the continental championships and this year’s show is another disappointment we have been seeing.
“When will the team from Nigeria learn how to play in international competitions? I think we need to look into the structure of the league as to assess how the team has been playing.
“We need to start doing well in the continent,’’ Otemolu who worked in the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) said.