By Adeboye Amosu:
Nigeria champions Enugu Rangers forced their hosts Jeunesse Sportive Saoura of Algeria to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their CAF Champions League preliminary round fixture on Friday, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Bourdin Abdelrahmanne put the home side ahead in the 32nd minute, while Bobby Clement equalised for the Nigerians three minutes before the break.
The Flying Antelopes were on the back foot from the opening minutes of the game with Saoura terrorising their defence.
There was also controversy early on when Rangers defenders cleared the ball off the line but the hosts deemed it a goal and protested vehemently to the centre referee.
Saoura, who were playing their first-ever game in the CAF Champions League, scored the curtain raiser off a beautiful freekick converted by Bourdim 13 minutes before the break, firing home after Christian Madu handled the balll on the edge of the box. Madu was issued a yellow card for the offence.
Clement levelled scores for the away team from a wonderful volley in the 42nd minute.
Saoura almost restored their lead three minutes after the restart but the shot was blocked by Kalu Orji.
The visitors struggled to carve out any real chance in the second half and had to rely on central defensive pair, Pape Ousmane and Orji, as well as brave goalkeeping by Nana Bonsu to earn a draw in the game.
The second leg will be played next weekend at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium, Enugu.
The overall winner of the tie will face last year’s finalists Zamalek of Egypt in the next round.