Ndubuisi Egbo’s dream of becoming the first African manager to coach a team in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League was dashed on Tuesday after his KF Tirana side fell to Red Star Belgrade in the second qualifying round.
Tirana beat Dinamo Tbilisi in the previous round but found seasoned campaigners and former champions Red Star a difficult prospect.
A tight game was decided by Portuguese striker Tomané who scored the game’s only goal in the 62nd minute.
Despite playing at home in Albania, Tirana couldn’t mount a comeback and their journey in the competition has now come to an end.
Egbo will take solace in being the first African manager to win a European topflight and the first to coach and win a match in the Champions League even though he fell agonisingly short of his goal of qualifying Tirana for the group stage.
Despite their loss, Egbo and Tirana can, however, still achieve European football this season as they are set to enter into the qualifiers for the Europa League as losers in the “Champions Path” of the Champions League second qualifying round.