Algeria’s USM Alger Knocks Out Plateau Utd from Confed Cup

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*Enyimba, MFM, Akwa Utd will have their fates decided today

Femi Solaja

Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions, Plateau United, was knocked out of the second tier CAF Confederation Cup yesterday evening by USM Alger of Algeria who scored four un-replied goals against the Jos team in the second leg of their play-off round fixture at the Stade 5 Juillet.

That result effectively cancelled out the 2-1 first leg advantage Plateau got at home to go out 5-2 on aggregate.

Alger’s Kaddour Beldjlali nodding home from a corner kick in the 29th minute to set the stage for the total annihilation of the Nigerian champions. The home team wasted a number of chances with Plateau United goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye impressing again.

Ajiboye was however unable to prevent Oussama Darlafou who scored USM’s only goal in the first leg from scoring another header four minutes before the break.

Darlafou got the Red and Black third and his second of the game from another header five minutes after the break.

With the visitors resigned to fate following a disjointed performance, Mokhtar Benkhermassa added the fourth goal late on.

The three other Nigerians still left in the competition Enyimba, MFM and Akwa United will have their fates decided this afternoon in the competition with the Promise Keeper the most vulnerable of the trio.

Meanwhile, Enyimba FC midfielder, Austin Oladapo, has said he is confident his club will go past Bidvest Wits of South Africa today to advance to the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup.

The silky playmaker, who has been one of the standout performers for the People’s Elephant this season, was bullish in a chat with Enyimba Media in the build-up to the CAF Confederation Cup play-off return leg.

Both teams played out a 1-1 draw in Johannesburg.

“I’m very confident; seeing the training all week, it has been impressive, so I’m very confident that we are going to scale through,” he said.

Allied to the thorough preparation the side has undergone, Oladapo also believed that a difficult first leg, which saw ‘The Clever Boys’ see more of the ball for long periods, has better prepared the team to respond in Calabar.

“Now, we feel more motivated. We already know how they play; we saw it in their home, and (yet) we were able to get an away draw there. So, we already know their tactics,” he said.