Plateau United beaten 4-2 by Etoile du Sahel
Nigerian clubs, MFM of Lagos and Plateau United of Jos came out of their respective CAF Champions League matches against MC Algers of Algeria and Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia knowing they still have a tough task ahead in the race to qualify for the second round of the competition. While Nigerian champions, Plateau United rallied from 4-0 to lose 4-2 to Etoile in Tunis, MFM had to sweat to a 2-1 victory over MC Algers at the Agege Stadium yesterday.
Chijioke Akuneto scored the first goal for MFM in the 41st minute of the first half from the spot following a foul on him in the Algerian team’s box. The second half saw MFM’s new kid on the block, Abayomi Lawal missing another golden opportunity to extend the lead as his attempted pass to danger man, Nojeem Akinyemi, was intercepted by an MC Algers’ defender after goalkeeper, Farid Chaal, was caught hapless.
Then the unexpected happened in the 10th minute of the second half when the Algerians equalised through Ammachi Abdel.Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu brought in Chukwudi Ekeocha in the 18th for petit Chukwuka Onuwa, who had a fantastic match. The combination of Ekeocha, Lawal and Giscard Tchato troubled the Algerians’ defence, but the North Africans held their own until late in the game.
Midfielder, Monsuru, whose wonder volley outside the Algerians’ box caught Chaal napping, settled the game.Tchato wasted what would have been MFM’s third goal in the 44th minute.
Speaking after the match, Onuwa said he believed that MFM could still progress to the next stage of the Champions League if it played its normal attacking in the return leg.“If the Algerians can come here and attack us I believe that is exactly what we are going to do to them. We are not going to rest on the slim victory if we are to qualify for the group stage.“Today’s victory was achieved through God who made it possible for us to win the match. We believe He will make us through to the next stage by His grace,” he said.