Nigeria’s representative at the CAF Confederation Cup, Remo Stars and Kwara United faced mixed results as they played out the second legs of their respective first-round playoff ties.
In Ikenne, Remo Stars succumbed to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Moroccan outfit ASFAR in their CAF Confederation Cup meeting. The result ensured that the Sky Blue Stars lost 2-1 on aggregate, ending their maiden experience on the continent at the first hurdle.
After an impressive 1-1 draw in Rabat, Remo Stars were set for a meeting with the 12-time Moroccan league champions on their own turf. Their chances were not helped by defensive stalwart Isah Ali picking up an injury inside five minutes of the encounter. Remo Stars remained in the game and missed a clear-cut chance in the first-half as Dayo blazed an effort from dead center of the box after good work out wide by Akanni Qudus.
The visitors began to control the tempo of the game but struggled to create quality openings against the compact Remo Stars side buoyed by 6,000 home fans. The first half ended without any moments of true quality to separate the sides in Ikenne.
In the second half, ASFAR quickly started on the front foot, pressing the home side impressively. Their persistence was rewarded just ten minutes into the half as substitute central defender Bashiru Monsuru gave away the ball at the edge of his own box under pressure. From the resulting recovery, forward Joseph Guede evaded a half-hearted challenge from Bashiru before sending an effort into the back of the net off the far post.
Following the visitors’ goal, Remo Stars upped the ante as they sought an equaliser but they were unable to breach the Moroccan side’s backline. Their loss means that they have crashed out of the competition while ASFAR will take on Ashanti Gold for a place in the group stage of the competition.
Elsewhere, Kwara United braved the theatrics of their Nigerien opposition to reach the second round of the playoffs. The Harmony Warriors played out a goalless draw against AS Douanes in Niamey to record an aggregate 3-0 win and reach the final round of playoffs.
Having come under the harassment of a local shaman as they made their way into the stadium for the encounter, Kwara United managed to prevent their opponents from getting the better of them in the match as they protected their 3-0 first leg win. They will take on Algerian side RS Berkane for a place in the group stage of the competition.