Nigerian side Rangers International began their group stage campaign of the 2019/20 Total CAF Confederation Cup (TotalCAFCC) with a 1-3 loss at home to big spending Egyptian side Pyramids on Sunday.
Pyramids went into the game unbeaten in twelve matches in all competitions this season while Rangers lost their last two games, culminating in the indefinite suspension of head coach Benedict Ugwu.
Starting a new life under Salisu Yusuf, Rangers got a dream lead at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium in the 29th minute courtesy of rising star Ibrahim Olawoyin who produced a brilliant solo goal on his 22nd birthday.
The dream was however destined to be a nightmare once Rangers captain Emmanuel Tope Olusesi was sent off in first half stoppage time for a second bookable offence after a reckless challenge on Eric Traore.
Pyramids took full advantage of Rangers’ numerical disadvantage in the second half and were awarded a penalty after defender Isiaka Oladuntoye handled the ball inside the penalty box eight minutes after the restart. Mohammed Salama slammed home the spot kick.
Substitute Amor Layouni finished off a brilliant counter attack to give Pyramids the lead six minutes from time before Islam Attia netted another penalty three minutes later to make the game safe.
Rangers will next travel to Egypt for their second group game against Al Masry in Port Said next Sunday.