Plateau United head coach Kennedy Boboye feels the CAF Champions League ouster at the hands of Etoile Du Sahel at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano on Sunday was cruel on his players.
Tosin Omoyele 25th minute goal wasn’t enough for the NPFL champions to sail through to the 2018 CAF Champions League group stages. Etoile won the first leg 4-2 and progressed to the group stages 4-3 on goals aggregate.
Plateau United started the game chasing a two-goal margin win, but the visitors set up defensively and compactly under the hot Kano sun.
Omoyele set up Peter Eneji in the 15th minute but his effort inside the visitor’s box struck the woodwork. Six minutes later a six-yard Omoleye acrobatic kick was inches wide from goal.
Etoile almost took the lead in the 22nd minute after a breakdown in defence for United but Dele Ajiboye pulled a great save and denied Alkaly Bangoura from 20 yards. Three minutes later Omoyele put the hosts in front.
The second half resumed with Plateau United chasing a second goal but the compactness of the visitor’s defence made that a difficult task.
Omoyele and Joshua Obaje also missed opportunities for Plateau Utd and Etoile goalkeeper Achkaf Krir pulled a brilliant save in the 55th minute, parrying to safety a King Osanga powerful drive from the edge of the box.
Plateau United dominated the encounter with the visitors contented to stay back and defend in numbers.
Boboye with disappointment written all over his face believes Etoile were lucky to survive his dominant team.
“I am impressed with my players’ performance, the boys played well and listen to tactical instructions but we were unlucky not to get the second goal.
“We had a game plan and we stuck to it.They (Etoile) didn’t come out to play, they set up defensively and played just one man in the attack.
“They were just waiting to counter and break us down, so we needed to dictate the possession from the midfield and press on but we couldn’t get the second goal.”
Plateau United have now dropped to the CAF Confederation Cup and the former Sunshine Stars coach says they have learnt enough lessons to carry on in the CAF second tier tournament.
“We have taken a lot of lessons from this tournament, good lessons and we’ll pick up from here in the Confederation Cup.
“We learnt from Etoile, they are highly experience and we have enough positives to achieve success in the Confederation Cup,” Boboye added.