Johannesburg - Nigerian club Nasarawa United face another
CAF Confederation Cup tightrope walk this weekend as they seek a round-of-16
A Philip Azango goal four minutes from time in Abuja earned
them a 1-0 first-leg lead over 10-man CS Constantine of Algeria last weekend.
So, for the second successive round, the Nigerians take the
narrowest of leads into a return match.
Nasarawa left it even later in the preliminary round to
build a 2-1 advantage over Senegalese second division side Generation Foot,
scoring the winner two minutes from time.
But they forced a 0-0 second-leg draw in Dakar to become the
lone Nigerian survivors after Akwa United were surprisingly eliminated by V
Club Mokanda of Congo Brazzaville.
United are in a slightly better position against
Constantine, not having conceded a goal against the North Africans at the
National Stadium in the Nigerian capital.
Coach Kabir Dogo believes the result in Senegal will
heighten confidence among his players that they can survive again.
Also read: Nasarawa United keen for goals against Algerian club
"We were written off after the first leg against
Generation Foot only to silence our critics with a brave away
performance," he told reporters.
"A lack of clinical finishing remains our major
weakness and there will be great emphasis on that issue before the return
"Constantine are a good, typical North African club,
but they are definitely beatable," added Dogo.
Constantine coach Didier Gomes Da Rosa blamed the Liberian
referee for the loss after the early second-half red-carding of Hamza
"Many of the decisions the referee made were incorrect
and he caused our defeat," said the Franco-Portuguese handler.
Nasarawa are among five clubs playing away who are clinging
to one-goal advantages in round-of-32 second legs in the African equivalent of
the Europa League.
Al Ittihad of Libya, forced to stage home fixtures in
Tunisia because of continuing post-Moamer Kadhafi-era lawlessness, take a 1-0
lead over Medeama to Ghana.
With domestic football impossible due to the security
situation, playing in Africa is the only competitive outlet for Tripoli-based
Winners Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko contested an
all-Ghana first Confederation Cup final in 2004, but the country has made
minimal impact in the competition since.
Co-Confederation Cup leading scorer Arsenio 'Love' Cabungula
will pose a threat for Sagrada Esperanca of Angola when they defend a 1-0 lead
over Desportivo Maputo in Mozambique.
Stade Gabesien of Tunisia and Saint-Eloi Lupopo of the
Democratic Republic of Congo are the other clubs travelling with one-goal
advantages, but both conceded in 2-1 victories.
CAF debutants Gabesien face experienced Kaloum -- the first
CAF fixture in Conakry since Guinea was declared Ebola free -- and Lupopo
tackle Al Ahly of Sudan in Shendy.For
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