Rangers' Matthew Etim vesus Recreativo forward
Nigeria’s representatives in this year’s CAF Champions League, Enugu Rangers, were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Recreativo Libolo of Angola in a third round tie at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu Sunday.
The home draw now puts the Flying Antelopes in tough position ahead of the second leg in a fortnight.
Rangers deserved to win as they attacked their opponents from the blast of the first whistle, but Landu in goal for the Angolans proved his class as he stood between Rangers and goal.
However, Emeka Eze could have snatched a late winner for the home team in the dying moments of the encounter when he faced a begging net only to blast his effort off target.
The first half ended goalless even after Rangers attacked the visitors for most of that period.
The Nigerian club recorded 10 corners to Libolo’s one in the first 45 minutes, but they could not make anything out of these.
Striker Efe Yarhere was caught offside at least four times as the home team pressed for a go-ahead goal.
Newly signed goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim was captain with Ugonna Uzochukwu brought in as makeshift centre half alongside Madu Chibuzor in the absence of injured Cyril Oriaku, Pape Sane and Ekene Iwuorie.
The second leg will be played in a fortnight at Libolo over 200 kilometres from the capital city of Luanda with the winners qualifying for the money-spinning group phase of the competition.
Elsewhere Sunday, defending champions, Al Ahly, were similarly held to a 0-0 draw by Tunisian side CA Bizertin in the first leg of their second round tie.
The match in Tunisia was dominated by the home side, but they now face a difficult away tie in Egypt in a fortnight's time.
Ahly had Egypt international goalkeeper Sherif Ekrami to thank for their draw.
Bizertin striker Marouen Troudi volleyed goal wards but saw his effort brilliantly stopped by Ekrami.
The stopper saved again from Mohamed Ali Mhadhebi in the second period, while Larbi Jabeur had a goal disallowed for a foul on the keeper.
Earlier on Saturday, Orlando Pirates seized the advantage after 3-1 victory over TP Mazembe in their African Champions League clash in Orlando.
The South African side dominated much of the match and could have won by a greater margin.
Zambian striker Collins Mbesuma netted a brace, his second a fortuitous penalty award, with the other goal coming from a fantastic Onyekachi Okonkwo strike. Patou Kabangu netted what could be a crucial away goal for the Congolese.