Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions Enugu Rangers have forced their hosts Jeunesse Sportive Saoura of Algeria to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their CAF Champions League preliminary round fixture on Friday
(today) evening, it is understood. Bourdin Abdelrahmanne scored for the home side, off an impressive free-kick in the 32nd minute after Christian Madu had handled the ball on the edge of the box and got booked, only for Bobby Clement to equalize for the Nigerians three minutes before the break via a beautiful volley.
The Flying Antelopes were on the back foot from the opening minutes of the game with Saoura terrorizing their defence. There was also controversy early on when Rangers defenders cleared the ball off the line with the hosts insisting it is a goal and strongly protesting to the centre referee. Saoura almost restored their lead three minutes after the restart but the shot was blocked by Kalu Orji.
The visitors struggled to carve out any real chance in the second half and had to rely on central defensive pair, Pape Ousmane and Orji, as well as brave goalkeeping by Nana Bonsu to earn a draw in the game.
The second leg will be played next weekend at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium, Enugu. The winner of the round will face last year’s beaten finalists Zamalek of Egypt in the next round.