Nigerian side Rangers International came from behind to record a 3-1 victory over Ethiopian outfit Defence FC in Addis Ababa on the preliminary round of the Total CAF Confederation Cup. Enugu progressed to the first round after winning 5-1 on aggregate.
Mekelakeya, as Defence are locally known, kicked started the duel on a positive note. They were awarded a penalty after a hand ball and Minyelu Wendimu made no mistake to fire the homers to the lead two minutes following the onset. The tempo of the game could not hit up for the next 15 minutes or so as both sides concentrated on the midfield battle. Wendimu came close to grab his brace through a free kick effort that sailed over the cross bar in the 23rd minute. The visitors were struggling at first but showed character after the quarter hour mark. Ugonna Uzochukwu and Emmanuel Olusesi tested Defense's goalkeeper Yidenkatchew Kidane from range in quick succession. The home side caught napping in the 34th minute as Rangers got the equalizer from Bright Silas with a neat volley. Five minutes later Godwin Aguda successfully converted from the spot to turn the table around as the visitors lead 2-1 heading to the break.
Defence tried to come back to the tie in the second stanza and were quick to test Rangers custodian Nana Bonsu through Firew Solomon's long range drive in the 48th minute. The tie produced few scoring chances since then but the home side enjoyed much of the possession. Kidane pulled off a save to deny Ajani Ibrahim in the 72nd minute. However Rangers put the game to bed 11 minutes from full time. Second half substitute Kelvin Itoya beat his marker and his deflected shot found the back of the net as he puts the game beyond the reach of the army side.
Defence's continental woes continued as they lost their fourth successive preliminary round Confederation Cup encounter. Rangers International will now lock horns against Algerian side USM Bel AbbAs on December.
Source: Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF)