Nigerian champions Enugu Rangers will be on continental assignment on Sunday when they will be guests to Egyptian giants and last year’s CAF Champions League finalists Zamalek.
Also in action are Rivers United who will host Sudan’s Al-Merreikh.
Completesportsnigeria.com’s JAMES AGBEREBI goes down memory late to recall encounters between Nigerian clubs and their Egyptian counterparts…
ISMAILI 1-0 ENYIMBA (2nd Leg, CAF Champions League Final: 2003)
Despite losing the second leg final of the 2003 CAF Champions League in Egypt, Enyimba became the first ever Nigerian club to lift Africa’s elite club competition following a 2-1 aggregate win.
In the first leg played at the Aba Township Stadium, Enyimba won 2-0 thanks to goals from Emeka Nwanna and Ndidi Anumunu.
The Aba Elephants would go on to defend the title in 2004 after defeating Tunisia’s Etoile Du Sahel 5-3 on penalties after both legs in the final had ended 3-3 on aggregate.
ISMAILI 6-1 ENYIMBA (Matchday 2, CAF Champions League Group Stage: 2003)
Prior to meeting in the final of the 2003 CAF Champions League, Enyimba were thrashed by Ismaili 6-1 in their second group game.
In the return leg at Aba Township Stadium, Enyimba beat Ismaili 4-2 to qualify to the semi-final in second place behind the Egyptian club.
ZAMALEK 2-1 Shooting Stars (2nd Leg, CAF Champions League Final: 1996)
The 1996 CAF Champions League final between Shooting Stars of Ibadan and Zamalek of Egypt was the second time both teams would clash in the final.
Their first meeting was in the 1984 final where Zamalek triumphed 3-0 on aggregate to clinch their first-ever CAF Champions League trophy. Zamalek won the first leg 2-0 in Cairo before pipping Shooting Stars 1-0 in the reverse fixture in Nigeria.
In the 1996 final, Shooting Stars took a slim 2-1 lead from the first leg to Cairo but found themselves 2-0 down.
Shooting Stars were reduced to 10 men following the sending off of Edith Agoye but scored a late goal to send the game into penalties which they lost 5-4.
-RANGERS 4-0 AL-AHLY (1st Leg, CAF Cup Quarter-Final: 2003)
After overcoming Liberia’s LSCR FC and DR Congo’s Motema Pembe in the first and second rounds respectively, Rangers were drawn against Egyptian giants Al-Ahly in the quarter-finals.
Rangers hosted the first leg and to everyone’s surprise the Flying Antelopes won 4-0.
In the second leg in Egypt, Rangers held their more illustrious opponents to a 0-0 draw to progress into the semi-finals.
Unfortunately, Rangers were eliminated in the semi-finals by Morocco’s Raja Casablanca who beat them 4-3 on aggregate.
-RANGERS 3-0 GHAZL AL-MEHALLAH (2nd Leg, CAF Champions League Semi-Final: 1975)
In the first leg played in Egypt, Ghazl Al-Mehallah defeated Enugu Rangers 3-1, making a comeback in the second leg a tall order.
But Rangers overturned the first leg deficit by winning 3-0 to advance into the final 4-3 on aggregate, becoming the first ever Nigerian club to achieve the feat.
Unfortunately, Rangers lost to Guinea’s Hafia FC 3-1 on aggregate in the final. Rangers lost the first leg 1-0 in Guinea before losing 2-1 at home.