By Akinwale Kasali
The hope of any Nigerian club side hoisting the nation’s flag at the club continental championship, CAF Champions League has been dashed. Many soccer fans had thought that Rivers United through the next qualifying round after recording a 3-0 win in the first leg at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, penultimate weekend.
Surprisingly, the Sudanese side, El Merrikh, upturned the three goal deficit, defeating the Rivers State team 4-0 to record a 4-3 aggregate scoreline, in front of their vociferous fans who cheered the team to victory.
For Enugu Rangers, the 2016 Nigeria Professional Football Legaue Champions, who had earlier lost 4-1 to Zamalek at the Alexandria stadium, could not upturn the three goal deficit, getting a slim 2-1 win over the Egyptian club side, at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium, Enugu.
Coach Emma Amakpakabo was disappointed that his team was booted out 5-3 on aggregate, leaving the field dejected.
Soccer analysts had queried the poor performance of nigerian club side at continental tournament. With the elimination of these club sides, they will return to the drawing board to further re-strategize and perform better on the domestic front.