Friday, May 03, 2013

Rangers, Libolo in ACL tussle for big stage

Enugu Rangers and Clube Recreativo Desportivo do Libolo will have just a leg of the tie to decide which team reach the group stage of the Africa Caf Champions League this Saturday.

The first leg of the match-up ended goalless in Enugu about a fortnight ago.

Rangers are in fine form going into this tie on the day after defeating Nigerian champions, Kano Pillars, 4-0 to go top of the domestic league.

CRD Libolo, on the other hand, suffered a 0-1 loss at Kabuscorp in the Angolan top flight, the Girabola, last Saturday but have maintained an unbeaten streak in the Caf Champions League.

Rangers had hoped to hand Africa Cup of Nations hero, Sunday Mba, a starting place against CRD Libolo after a provisional clearance was secured from Warri Wolves this week.

But Mba as well as midfielder Emeka Eze will miss the match after their travelling documents could not be secured for the trip.

Amid the absence of key men for the game, Enugu Rangers chairman, Festus Onu, is ready to splash the cash on the squad to beat Libolo and reach the group stage of Africa's premier club competition.

"The chairman could not come for this game so he has asked me to come and see things for myself. I am in Libolo for the game and he is so eager to make the boys happy if they beat Recreativo Libolo and get into the group stage of the competition.

"He is confident they can do it and he is waiting for them to return with the good news. And from what I have seen of the players, they are ready to make sure that they return to Nigeria with one of the tickets.

"The chairman has always supported the team since last year when he fixed an amount of money he gives the players when they win any match," the personal assistant to the Enugu Rangers chairman, Patrick Nworji, said.

But the Flying Antelopes will have a mountain to climb against CRD Libolo at the Estadio Municipal de Calulo, where their hosts have lost only twice this year and only in the Girabola to Benfica Luanda and Interclube.

The Nigerians will have their work cut out as Libolo will stick to their 4-4-2 formation with the like of winger Ze Kalanga, Ruben Gouveia, Henry Camara, Sidnei, Rasca, Daniel Mendes Ribeiro, Joao Martins and Chico Caputo set to star.

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