Friday Feb 10, 2017. 22:05
Nigerian champions Enugu Rangers braved a partisan crowd and the cold to force hosts JS Saoura of Algeria to a 1-1 draw in a preliminary round first leg match tonight.
The return leg will be played in Enugu next weekend with Rangers enjoying a vital away goal.
Rangers in all-red jerseys soaked all the pressure JSS piled on them especially in the second half to come away from Algeria with a good result.
Impressive young midfielder Abderrahmane Bourdim gave the home team the lead after just 32 minutes courtesy of a superb free kick goal.
It was JS Saoura’s first-ever goal in the CAF Champions League.
However, striker Bobby Clement restored parity six minutes later when he cashed in on a defensive slip with an assist by Chinedu Udegha.
The big striker could have put Rangers in front just before half time, but he fluffed his lines.
After the interval, both teams searched for the winning goal.
Rangers replaced Osas Okoro with Daniel Etor in the 75th
Rangers goalkeeper Nana Bonsu was the busier of the two goalkeepers in this half and the Nigerian champions defended resolutely and in numbers as JSS camped in the half of the visitors.
‘The Flying Antelope’ relied on fast counter attacks to trouble the home team.
In the closing moments of the contest, goal scorer Bobby Clement was replaced by fellow striker Ocheme Edoh.
The game was held up temporarily for medics to attend to injured goalkeeper Bonsu after he thwarted yet another dangerous attack by JSS.
It was a close shave for Rangers as the referee refused a penalty appeal after it appeared a Nigerian defender had handled the ball on the goalline after Bonsu was beaten.