CLUB AFRICAIN EDGE OUT SUNSHINE
A miserable month for Nigerian football continued Saturday when Sunshine Stars were eliminated from the African Confederation Cup semi-finals by Club Africain of Tunisia.
Stars from south-west town Akure did well to force a 0-0 second-leg draw behind closed doors in Tunis, but paid the price for a 1-0 home loss two weeks ago in the second-tier African club competition.
Nigeria failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since 1986 after conceding a late equaliser against Guinea this month and Enyimba made a timid African Champions League semi-finals exit.
Spectators were barred from the 45,000-capacity Al-Menzah Stadium in the Tunisian capital after crowd trouble halted a group match against Ivorian outfit ASEC Mimosas for 30 minutes.
The football did little to enliven a morgue-like atmosphere with the teams extremely cautious, especially a Tunisian side that knew a draw would suffice to secure a final place.
Club Africain, who have been continuously overshadowed at international level by arch Tunis rivals Esperance, won the African Champions Cup 20 years ago and have been African Cup Winners Cup runners-up twice.
Victory over Sunshine kept Tunisia on course for a continental club double as Esperance have qualified for the African Champions League final against Wydad Casablanca with the first leg in Morocco next Sunday.
Club Africain could also face Moroccan opponents as Moghreb Fes are favoured to overcome Angolan visitors InterClube late Sunday despite trailing 2-1 from the first leg in Luanda.