Chances of Nigerian side, Mountain of Fire & Miracles (MFM), progressing further in second-tier continental club championship looks bleak considering the outburst of their youthful coach Fidelis Ilechukwu.
The Nigerian side were beaten 1-0 at home, Agege Stadium in Lagos, by Djoliba of Mali in their 1/16th first leg play-off tie on.
Mohamed Cisse grabbed the only goal of the encounter in the 78th minute when he tapped in from close range following a lapse in the defense of the hosts.
"The Malians were the better side. It was a bad game, bad result and that is football," stated the 40-year-old Ilechukwu fondly called Nigeria's Mourinho due to his theatrics on the pitch.
"We didn't underrate any team. We used what we have but when you're constantly using the same players for all matches, you can understand there would be tiredness and fatigue.
"Maybe that was responsible for their low performance but as I said the Malians were better than us," he noted.
Sunday's loss was the second for MFM in their continental debut coming on the heels of a 5-0 drubbing by MC Alger last month in the Total CAF Champions League which culminated in their drop to the CAF Confederation Cup.
But Ilechukwu has not given up hope yet, adding MFM can still pull their chestnut from the fire in the reverse fixture.
"Every coach is always positive and I am positive (going to the second leg) as well. The Malians have an advantage for now but in football anything can happen," he explained.
The second leg will take place on Wednesday, 18 April 2018 in Bamako, with the winner advancing to the mini-league stage.
Friday, 6 April 2018
Bidvest (South Africa) 1-1 Enyimba (Nigeria)
CF Mounana (Gabon) 1-1 El Masry (Egypt)
Rayon Sports (Rwanda) 3-0 Costa do Sol (Mozambique)
Saturday, 7 April 2018
Zanaco (Zambia) 0-2 Raja Club Athletic (Morocco)
AS Vita (DR Congo) 1-0 CS la Mancha (Congo)
Saint George (Ethiopia) 1-0 CARA (Congo)
UD Songo (Mozambique) 3-1 Hilal Obeid (Sudan)
Plateau United (Nigeria) 2-1 USM Alger (Algeria)
Young Africans (Tanzania) 2-0 Wolaitta Dicha (Ethiopia)
Generation Foot (Senegal) 3-1 RS Berkane (Morocco)
Williamsville (Cote d'Ivoire) 2-0 Niefang (Equatorial Guinea)
Sunday, 8 April 2018
El Hilal (Sudan) 2-0 Akwa United (Nigeria)
Gor Mahia (Kenya) 1-0 Supersport (South Africa)
Aduana (Ghana) 6-1 Fosa Juniors (Madagascar)
ASEC Mimosas (Cote d'Ivoire) 1-0 CR Belouizdad (Algeria)
MFM (Nigeria) 0-1 Djoliba (Mali)