Nasarawa United’s dramatic collapse marked end of Nigerian dream
Nasarawa United of Nigeria was bundled out of the CAF Confederation Cup this weekend after a late second-half collapse triggered a 4-1 defeat by CS Constantine in Algeria, reports AFP.
The situation was promising for the West Africans in the last-32 second leg with 13 minutes remaining as they were drawing 1-1 and one goal ahead on aggregate.
Having snatched a 1-0 victory at home last weekend, Nasarawa also had an ‘away’ goal advantage, meaning the hosts had to score at least twice.
France-born Constantine coach, Didier Gomes Da Rosa, then made two inspired substitutions, introducing Ahmed Messaida and Mourad Meghni.
Both scored within minutes of coming off the bench to turn the tide and Malagasy Paulin Voavy added a fourth goal to complete a dramatic triumph for the 120-year-old Algerian club.
Yacine Bezzaz converted an early second-half penalty to open the scoring in Constantine and Bature Yaro levelled through a spectacular long-range shot.
The 4-2 overall beating for Nasarawa ended Nigerian interest in the three-round qualifying stage of the African equivalent of the Europa League.
Akwa United were shock preliminary-round casualties against V Club Mokanda of Congo Brazzaville despite winning the first leg on the road.
Algeria will have two clubs in the round-of-16 during April as Mouloudia Oran drew 2-2 away to SC Gagnoa of the Ivory Coast having established a two-goal first-leg advantage.
Kamel Larbi gave Oran the perfect start with a third-minute goal, setting the hosts a minimum target of four goals to survive.
Lamine Doumouya and Malan Kassi struck within five minutes to give Gagnoa a glimmer of hope that was extinguished when Khaled Lemmouchia equalised.
Mokanda pulled off another upset by winning 1-0 away to Police of Rwanda having been held to a goalless draw at home a week ago.
Mathias Osagatsama snatched the match and tie winner five minutes from time in Kigali to secure a showdown with Sagrada Esperanca of Angola.
The Angolan outfit from remote mining town Dundo converted a last-minute penalty to draw 1-1 with Desportivo Maputo in Mozambique and advance 2-1 overall.
Arsenio ‘Love’ Cabungula raised his 2016 Confederation Cup goal tally to four by scoring from the spot after Sonito had put Desportivo ahead 20 minutes from time.
Esperance of Tunisia, who have lifted four of the five CAF club trophies, overwhelmed Renaissance of Chad 5-0 in Rades after taking a two-goal lead into the match.
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