Nigerian side Rangers International survived an early scare before beating AS Pelican of Gabon en route to progress into the playoff round of the CAF Confederation Cup.
Rangers defeated Pelican 3-1 at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium on Sunday to record a 4-3 aggregate win and ensure passage into the penultimate round before the group stage.
The Flying Antelopes lost the first leg 1-2 in Libreville a fortnight ago and were stunned further in the 6th minute on Sunday when Dertin Amores curled home a superb free kick after Semiu Liadi had fell Ndong Bitheghe.
Rangers, though out of sorts thereafter pulled level in the 18th minute when forward Ifeanyi George latched onto goalkeeper Opubo Japhet‘s long ball to loop his header over Pelican goalkeeper Donald Nze.
First half ended all square on the day but Rangers levelled the aggregate score just five minutes after the break when Nnamdi Egbujuo headed home an Ugwu Uwadiegwu corner kick. It was the former Heartland star’s second goal in as many games against Pelican.
FT: Rangers 3-1 AS Pelican (4-3 on agg)
— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) September 29, 2019
Rangers then scored the decider five minutes later through enterprising winger Ibrahim Olawoyin who stabbed home substitute Chinonso Eziekwe’s cross at the far post.
Olawoyin who was a thorn in the flesh of the central Africans on his home debut for Rangers was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) after the game for his exploit.
Rangers have now booked a spot in the playoff round of the Confederation Cup where they will await one of the losing sides in this weekend’s CAF Champions League first round.