Rangers International Football Club of Enugu's hope of reaching the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Cup next stage has been hampered in a 2-0 loss to Etoile Sportive du Sahel in Enugu.
The two goals, one in each half of the match, was all that Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia needed to up their position in the group.
Maher Hannachi scored for the visitors in the 19th minute to give Etoile the lead over Rangers in the Sunday encounter in the coal city.
After the interval, Mohamed Msakni extended the lead in the 69th minute to 2-0 from the penalty spot as Isaac Laoute fouled Alaya Brigui inside the 18 yard box.
Speaking after the match, Rangers Coach Olugbenga Ogunbote attributed the loss to players' injury.
"We have to make use of the players that are available as our squad is depleted by injury and that changed our game plan.
"Well, it is not yet over as we still have two matches to make a statement.
"I believe that my players will be up and doing in our next match against CS Sfaxien and Salitas FC of Burkina Faso, " he said.
Aguda Godwin of Rangers FC said that they never dreamt of losing the match, knowing full well that they needed the three points to brighten their chances.
"That is football for you and we are going back to find solution to our remaining matches in the group because we have come a long way and cannot quit at this stage," he said.
Etoile Coach Roger Lemerre said that they came with a game plan to the match and that their plan worked for them.
"We are going home to consolidate on our victory over Rangers by ensuring that we get good results in our remaining matches.
"Rangers is a good side and that is why we planned well for them and we were careful in the match with full concentration throughout the match," Lemerre said. (NAN)