Nigeria’s quest for a place in the money spinning CAF Champions League group stage suffered a momentary setback yesterday at the Kasarani International Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya following Lobi Stars’ 3-1 loss to Gor Mahia in the first round first leg qualifying stage.
The Nigerian representatives conceded early in the match and final score now puts Nigeria on the brink of another elimination for the second consecutive season after Plateau United exited at same stage last season.
Lobi started on a front foot and looks determined to score first but the tide changed as early as the 7th minute when Rwandan international, Jacques Tuyisenge, fired a volley that beats the Nigerian goalie to the wrong side of the sticks.
In the 24th minute, Sammy Onyango doubled the lead for the Kenyan champions after a defensive blunder. Credit however goes to Lobi Stars goalkeeper who made some brilliant saves later to give Lobi a respectable result going into the second leg at home.
However, Samad Kadiri pulled one back in the 30th minute but David Tyavkase restored the host’s two-goal lead with the third goal shortly before the half time.
Efforts by the Nigerian team to reduce the tally failed as the host defence line kept the ambitious Lobi stars front at bay till the final whistle.
The Nigerian team will now need at least an outright 2-0 win in the return leg next weekend to progress in this competition.
Lobi Coach, Solomon Ogbeide, admitted his team was as “wasteful” as in the previous round against UMS de Loum of Cameroon.
Earlier Saturday, Enugu Rangers played out an impressive goalless outing against USM Bel Abbes of Algeria in the first leg, first round of the CAF Confederation Cup.
The match provided very few chances for Rangers as their Ghanaian goalkeeper, Nana Bonsu was the hero preventing USM Bel Abbes from scoring on several occasions.
According to reports from Algeria, Rangers had some scoring opportunities to score but lacked cutting edge in the final kick.
Rangers led by Gbenga Ogunbote will welcome USM Bel Abbes for the second leg on Sunday, December 23 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu.
The Flying Antelopes have already stated that they aim to win the CAF Confederation Cup and surpass the achievements of Enyimba FC who lost in the semifinal to eventual winner, Raja Casablanca of Morocco last season.