Enugu Rangers’ hope of reaching the CAF Confederation Cup knockout stage has been hampered after a 2-0 defeat to Etoile Sportive du Sahel in Enugu.
The two goals, one in each half, was all that the Tunisians 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 from the penalty spot as Isaac Laoute fouled Alaya Brigui inside the 18-yard box.
Rangers coach Olugbenga Ogunbote attributed the loss to his players’ injuries.
“We have to make use of the players that are available as our squad is depleted by injuries 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 of Burkina Faso,” he said.
Rangers’ Aguda Godwin said they never dreamt of losing the match, knowing that they needed the three points to brighten their chances of qualification.
“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 they came with a game plan that 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 are a good side and that is why we planned well for them and we were careful with full concentration throughout the match,” Lemerre said.