Ndubuisi Egbo hopes of becoming the first Nigerian coach to manage a team in the group stages of European inter club competition were halted in brutal fashion as his Albanian side KF Tirana were dumped out of the Europa League by Swiss side Young Boys on Thursday.
Egbo, became the first African coach to win a European topflight title when he led Tirana to the Albanian title last season and was already the first African to manage a team in European inter club competition when he guided Tirana through two rounds of Champions League qualification matches.
Their attempt to make the group stage of Europe’s premier competition, however, ended in a loss to Red Star Belgrade which saw them drop into the playoffs stage of Europa League qualification.
And all hopes of European football this season were extinguished on Thursday as they fell 3-0 to Young Boys at the Stade de Suisse Wankdorf, with the Swiss side progressing to the group stage of the Europa League.
A Christian Fassnacht goal two minutes before halftime and a second half brace from Jean Pierre Nsame gave Young Boys victory over ten-man Tirana who saw Agustin Torassa dismissed in the 67th minute for a second yellow.
Elsewhere, Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun and Nigeria-eligible Italian born English defender Calvin Ughelumba were unused subs as Rangers booked their spot in the group stage with a 2-1 victory over Galatasaray at the Ibrox Stadiun.
Super Eagles midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo who is on loan at Galatasaray from Stoke City was not listed for the encounter.
Super Eagle midfielder Ramon Azeez was also unlisted as his Spanish side Granada booked their place in the group stage with a 3-1 win at Swedish side Malmo FC.
Aniekpeno Udoh came off the bench to score but his effort only proved consolatory as his Finnish side KuPs were dumped out of the competition 3-1 by Romanian side CFR Cluj.
Yusuf Otubanjo was a 67th minute sub for Ararat Armenia but the 28-year-old Nigerian striker could not prevent his side from exiting the competition at home as they fell 2-1 to Red Star Belgrade.
24-year-old winger Samuel Adegbenro was on for 65 minutes as his Norwegian side Rosenborg lost 2-0 at home to Dutch club PSV Eindhoven who had 18-year-old Nigeria-eligible Noni Madueke on as a 90th minute sub.
And Super Eagles goalkeeper Francis Uzoho who continues his return to full fitness from a career-threatening injury was unlisted as his Cypriot side APOEL Nicosia exited the competition with a narrow 1-0 defeat at Slovan Liberec.