Rahimo coach, Firnin Sanon, has admitted that his team lost to a far better and experienced Enyimba side in the Preliminary Round of the 2019/20 CAF Champions League, adding that early dismissal of their striker was their major setback in the match, Completesports.com reports.
Sanon averred that the early expulsion of their talismanic striker, Zonon Issouf, was the turning point in their 5-0 defeat in Aba
He further laments that Enyimba goalkeeper, Theophilus Afelokhai committed a penalty foul when he allegedly tripped an onrushing attacker, an incident he believed could have earned the goalkeeper a red card also.
“We are a very young team, participating in the continental football for the first time,” Sanon said after the match.
“We came here to learn from our bigger brothers, Enyimba. We have no worries losing, but the 5-0 scoreline is too devastating.”
The young tactician cites the sending off of striker Issouf as the major reason his team collapsed in Aba.
“Yes it [the red card to Issouf] affected us, missing our best player just eight minutes into a match of this magnitude and importance against an established team like Enyimba can clearly unsettle a team,” Sanon stated.
“Playing Enyimba for 82 minutes without our best player isn’t an easy task.
“And we saw such an incident when Enyimba goalkeeper (Afelokhai) fouled our player which should have been a red card and a penalty, but the referee waved it out.
“We take the result in good faith and move on. In the first leg, we hit the post twice but here the red card was key to our defeat,”coach Sanon submitted.
By Sab Osuji