Enugu Rangers got off to a horrific start in the group stage of the 2019/2020 CAF Confederation Cup with an embarrassing 3-1 defeat to Egyptians Pyramids FC on Sunday.
Playing in front of home fans at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium and with the newly appointed duo of Salisu Yusuf and Mbwas Mangut in the dugout, the Flying Antelopes gave up a 1-0 halftime lead to let in three goals including two from the spot in a disastrous second half.
Rangers started brightly with Ibrahim Olawoyin giving them the lead in the Group A encounter after 28 minutes.
With the team dominant and coasting as the first half neared an end, Rangers defender Tope Olusesi contrived to get himself sent off for a brainless foul on the stroke of half time that earned him a second yellow card.
Pyramids made the most of their man advantage in the second half but still needed several self inflicted calamities from the home side to find a way back in.
First, defender Isiaka Oladuntoye handled in the box in the 55th minute to concede a penalty which was expertly dispatched by Mohammed Salamar to draw the North Africans level.
The goal seemed to take the wind out of Rangers’ sails as Sabestien Desabre’s wards ruthlessly exploited the ten-men of Rangers.
The pressure told as Amour Layouni put the North Africans ahead and the game was put beyond the home side after Islam Eissa added a third from the spot close to full time.
Rangers have now lost three straight matches at home and four in all competitions as Salisu Yusuf was slapped with a dose of reality as the enormity of the challenge before him was laid bare after he replaced Benedict Ugwu as Technical Adviser.
Pyramids go top of Group A level on points with fellow Egyptians Al Masry who edged Mauritanian champions FC Noaudhibou 3-2 in Mauritania in an excellent day for Egyptian sides in the group.