One of Nigeria’s representatives at the CAF Champions League, Rangers International, suffered an away defeat against Egyptian giants, Zamalek, as their chances of advancing to the group stages were dealt a huge blow after a 4-1 defeat at the El Salam Stadium in Cairo on Sunday.
But in spite of the massive goal margin, central attacker of the Enugu side, Edoh Ocheme, has said their hopes of overturning the deficit in the return leg is still much alive.
“I never thought we could concede more than a goal in the encounter. I wept profusely when the goals kept coming that we were three goals down in the first 45 minutes,” Ocheme told Supersport.
“Right now we have our jobs well cut out as we must score at least three unreplied goals to progress to the next stage of the competition.
He said nothing is impossible in football, as Spanish giants Barcelona have shown the world, in their UEFA Champions League knockout stage tie against France’s PSG, that a comeback is possible irrespective of the number of goals conceded.
“All hopes are not lost as we are quite capable of scoring the three mandatory goals in the first 45 minutes just as Zamalek SC performed at their backyard in Cairo.
“Barcelona have shown that in football nothing is conclusively done and dust until it’s completely over.
“That’s the mentality we will bring into the second leg coupled with some self-belief I’m sure we will upturn the disadvantage to advance to the next stage of the competition.”
Meanwhile, Zamalek Boss Mohamed Helmy, while expressing his delight after his side’s victory, warned his players not to get carried away by the win, stating that their qualification for the next round is yet unsure.
“We should not forget that we have a second match against Rangers, we have not qualified yet. The second leg requires more concentration to guarantee the qualification to the next round,” Helmy said after the game on Sunday.
The Nigeria champions will host the last season finalist in the return leg of the tie at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu next Sunday.
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