Nigeria’s representatives in the CAF Confederation Cup, Enyimba of Aba and Enugu Rangers yesterday defeated TS Galaxy of South Africa and ASC Kara of Togo respectively to qualify for the group stage of the competition.
Enyimba won the first leg of their tie in Aba 2-0, while Rangers lost to Togo’s ASC Kara 1-2 in the first leg.
Yesterday at the Mbombela Stadium, Enyimba showed their superiority over the home team as they raced to a 2-0 goal before TS Galaxy reduced the tally by one late into the game.
The game ended 4-1 on aggregate to Enyimba in the play-off round.
TS Galaxy, which surprised South African football followers by winning the 2018/2019 Nedbank Cup, had enjoyed a good record at home in the Confederation Cup this season, having registered two wins without conceding against the likes of St Louis Suns and CNaPS Sport.
But against Enyimba, they found it tough and had to wait until the 30th minute for an opening as Tshepo Chaine fired wide from close range. And that proved to be the home team’s only real effort of the first half Enyimba began to choke them.
Enyimba got the opening goal in the 76th minute through Daniel Darkwah, while Martins Usule made it 2-0 a few minutes later.
Galaxy pulled a goal back in the dying minutes through Terrence Mashego, but it was nothing more than a consolation as Enyimba triumphed 2-1 on the day and 4-1 on aggregate to secure a spot in the group stages.
In Enugu, Rangers needed a 1-0 win to secure their passage to the group stage having lost the first leg 2-1. But it was not so easy as the Togolese outfit fought to stay in the competition.
However, Chinonso Eziekwe settled the tie in the 18th minute when the converted Nnamdi Egbujuo’s defense splitting cross to make hay and send the crowd into wild jubilations.
Speaking after the game, Rangers’ Coach, Benedict Ugwu said, “It was a good match and we thank God for the win that has taken us to the group stage of the competition.
“Our plan was not to concede and my players did well to contain them especially in the second half. Yes, we are going into a tougher stage of the competition but I have the confidence that we shall continue to make good representation for the country.”