BY Duro Ikhazuagbe
One goal in each half secured a perfect start for Rangers International FC in the Group B of the CAF Confederation Cup clash with Salitas FC of Burkina Faso yesterday in Enugu.
Expectedly, it was Godwin Aguda that opened scoring for the host just two minutes into the clash at the Cathedral. Sawadogo Adama in goal for the Burkinabes had no answer for Aguda’s strike.
That goal was Aguda’s sixth of the competition.
Salitas tried to push for the equalising goal with Iliasse Sawadogo leading the visitors’ attack.
However, the Rangers defence which was led by Senegalese defender Pape Sane stood firm.
Rangers were leading 1-0 at halftime thanks to the midfielder’s early goal.
The hosts continued to attack after the restart and they were awarded a free-kick in a promising area just before the hour-mark.
Isaac Loute then stepped up and scored from the set-piece with a beautiful strike to make it 2-0 for Rangers.
Salitas made two changes in the 68th minute as they looked to grab at least two late goals to ensure that the game ended in a draw.
Nevertheless, Rangers stood firm at the back in the dying minutes of the match and they ran out 2-0 winners over Otoho.
Tunisian clubs, Etoile du Sahel and CS Sfaxien clashed in the other Group B fixture late last night.
Earlier on Saturday, Nigeria’s other team in continental campaign Lobi Stars lost 1-0 at the same Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu to Moroccan club, Wydad Casablanca.
It was the Makurdi club’s second defeat in Group A of the CAF Champions League. The Solomon Ogbeide coached team had similarly crumbled away to Asec Mimosas of Cote d’lvoire on Match-day two in Abidjan.
Mohamed Nahiri at the weekend netted the winning goal from the spot in the 20th minute blasting past Olufemi Kayode in goal for Lobi Stars.
Kayode however saved another penalty in the 63rd minute, but the hosts were unable to find an equaliser despite piling pressure on the opposition’s defence in the closing stages of the game.
Former Super Eagles forward Babatunde Micheal started the game for Wydad but was replaced by Amin Tighazoui barely 12 minutes from regulation time.
Wydad Casablanca now occupy top spot in the group with six points from three games, while South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns who defeated Asec 3-1 on Friday sit in second position with the same number of point but with an inferior goal difference.
Lobi Stars are third on the log with three points, with just one win from three group fixtures.
Their next game is against Wydad Casablanca in the reverse fixture on February 12 at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium, Rabat.