Confed Cup: Rangers FC Hit Next Phase after Win over USM

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By Femi Solaja with agency report

For the second year running, Nigerian clubs will have stake in CAF club competitions following the decent 2-0 win by Enugu Rangers against visiting USM Bel Abbes of Algeria yesterday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu.

Although there is still a hurdle before qualifying for the group stage, the Flying Antelopes showed the character of a team to go far in the CAF Confederation Cup competition.

Earlier on Saturday, Nigeria’s representatives in the CAF Champions League, Lobi Stars defeated Kenya’s Gor Mahia 2-0 but progressed to the knock out phase on the away goal rule.

Lobi lost the first round first leg 1-3 in Nairobi but the away goal gave the Makurdi team the edge despite the aggregate 3-3 scoreline.

Unlike the last edition of the CAF continental competitions that Nigeria presented four teams based on the country’s co-efficient, poor results occasioned the reduction of the country’s slot to just one each in the two top club competitions.

However, Nigeria’s determination to get the four slots back (two in each competition) may have started with these two wins by Lobi and Rangers.

Bright Silas scored both goals as Rangers took the game to their visitors from the onset at the ‘Cathedral in Enugu’ on Saturday.

The former JUTH FC star opened scoring after six minutes before he doubled the lead in first half stoppage time after he was assisted by defender Isaac Loute.

The Algerians were reduced to 10 men on 90th  minute after one of their players Boualem received his second caution.

Rangers created the better chances, but poor finishing or some resolute defending and good goalkeeping denied them a bigger win.

With this victory, Ogunbote’s side will wait until December 28 before knowing their next foes.

They will be drawn against the losers of the Champions League first round, with Rangers billed to host the second leg.