It was a case of deja vu on Sunday afternoon at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Ogui Road, Enugu as once again a Nigerian club lost at home to a North African club side.
It was a horrible day at the office for Rangers International who suffered a 2-0 loss to Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel in a CAF Confederations Cup, Group B match.
It was a slow start to the match with both sides tentative in attack, but it sprang into life in the 19th minute when Maher Hannechi gave Sahel the lead after a clinical finish.
Rangers took control of the match after that and dominated the possession stakes, but their decision in the final third resulted in very few decent scoring chances.
In fact, despite have 61 percent of the ball in the opening stanza Rangers only managed one shot on target as the half ended 1-0 in favour of the visitors.
The start of the second half saw the home side continue to dictate terms, but the wind was taken out of their sails when Etoile du Sahel doubled their lead after Iheb Msakni converted from the penalty spot in the 69th minute, 2-0.
The Tunisian side sat back in defence after that and seemed content to defend their lead.
Rangers tried to attack, but much like the first half they were wasteful in front of goal as the match ended 2-0 for Etoile du Sahel.
The result sees the Tunisian side at the top of the Group with seven points from four games while Rangers are third with four points.
Rangers will try bounce back from this loss next weekend when they face Salitas on Sunday, March 10. Etoile du Sahel will also be in action on the same day away to CS Sfaxien.
With Etoile’s win on Sunday, it now mean’s a Nigerian club has now lost at home to a North African side in three of their last four matches against a Maghreb club.
Rangers International (0) 0
Etoile du Sahel (1) 2 (Hannechi 19’, Msakni 69’)
Rangers: Bonsu, Temitope Olusesi, Adubi, Odita, James Loute, Silas, Msonter Shimaga, Aguda, Madu (Itoya 61’), Uchebo (Ahmeye Zeidine 63’), Ibrahim (Seka 79’).
Etoile: Kridane, Boughattas, Konate, Ben Aziza, Kechrida, Ben Amor, Aouadhi, Raddaoui, Msakni (Larbi 80’), Aribi (Hassen 54’), Hannechi (González 70’).