NPFL outfit Plateau United saw their hopes of a place in the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup go up in flames after a disastrous showing in Benghazi. The Nigerian side lost 3-0 to Libya’s Al Akhdar SC to crash out of the playoffs on away goals.
After dropping into the group-stage playoff following a loss to Esperance in the CAF Champions League playoffs, the Peace Boys trounced Al Akhdar 4-1 in their first-leg clash in Abuja. The NPFL22 runners-up had a three-goal lead to protect going into their second-leg clash.
After a goalless first half in Benghazi, Al Akhdar turned up the heat in the second half and were rewarded only 13 minutes into the second half as they opened the scoring through Anas Abdul Rahman, who finished sweetly at the far post after he was found by a cross.
Buoyed by the raucous home crowd, Al Akhdar found a second goal for themselves in the 85th minute to set up a grandstand finale. Mohammed Al-Zabbad found himself at the end of a loose ball in the box, and he lashed home an effort into the bottom corner of Suraj Ayeleso’s goal.
The final nail in Plateau United’s coffin came in the fourth of five minutes of added time. Another loose ball in the visitors’ box was picked up by Mustafa Hamza, who slotted his effort into the bottom corner to leave the crowd in raptures. The final whistle went seconds later, ending Plateau United’s dream of reaching the CAF Confederation Cup group stage. The Nigerians were knocked out on away goals after the tie ended 4-4 over two legs.