A 28-man Enugu Rangers’ team including a representative of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) departed for Algeria for their CAF Champions League preliminary round, first leg tie with JS Saoura yesterday ahead of the game billed for Friday.
The Flying Antelopes left aboard an Air Maroc flight to Rabat from where they would take a connecting flight to Algiers and later to Saoura City the venue of the match.
Rangers head into Friday’s away game against Saoura who finished second in the Algerian league last season on the back of a 1-0 defeat against South- East rivals, FC Ifeanyiubah last Sunday.
They got to the final of the then African Cup of Champions Clubs in 1975 before losing 3-1 on aggregate in the final to Hafia Conakry of Guinea but they managed to win an African title two years later when they defeated Canon Yaounde of Cameroon 5-2 on aggregate in the final.
Meanwhile, Vice Captain Matthew Etim is optimistic that the team can pick a positive result against their opponents, Jeunne Sportive Saoura despite their poor run of form in the Nigeria Professional Football League.
“We no doubt have our back against the wall going by our performances in the league this season, but I’m confident we can get a positive result against JS Saoura,” the right-back boasted.
“We know the pedigree and antecedents of North African teams in this competition, and even though Saoura is not a popular name in the continent, they will still be a tough nut to crack.
“We have worked hard in training and ready for the task ahead. It’s an opportunity to rub shoulders with the best teams in the continent, and we will give it our all.”