4 March 2019

Africa: Etoile Shock Rangers in Enugu

Hitherto high-flying Rangers were brought down to earth again following a 2-0 defeat to visiting Etoile du Sahel in a MatchDay 4 Group B tie at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Saturday in Enugu.

Maher Hannachi and Mohamed Msakni were the heroes for the visitors as the Tunisian side confirmed their superiority over the West African side for the second time in the campaign following their 2-1 win last week at home in Sousse.

Rangers started well but failed to break through a near water-tight Etoile backline with top scorer Godwin Aguda missing a good opportunity in the early minutes of the match.

Moments later, Hannachi struck for the visitors when he rifled home from inside the box following an inviting pass from Msakni in the 19th minute.

The homers chased for the equaliser but surprisingly failed to get their acts together under the scorching heat and they were punished again in the 69th minute when Msakni converted from the spot after Isaac Loute fouled Hannachi in the box.

"It is a big loss that we did not see coming," admitted Rangers trainer Coach Gbenga Ogunbote.

"We apologize for this loss and hope to make amends in the remaining matches of the competition."

Etoile's experienced French coach Roger Lemerre was gracious in victory: "It was a tough match against a very good side, Rangers who failed to take their chances while we took our own. Any team can still qualify for the quarter-finals."

Meanwhile, victory in Enugu put Etoile on top of the table with seven points from four matches after their arch rivals CS Sfaxien were held to a goalless draw in Ouagadougou by Salitas in the other Group B match. Sfaxien are now second on the table with six points while Rangers are third with four points and Salitas with just three points occupy the fourth position.

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