BY FORTUNE MBELE
Triangle lose 4-3 on goal aggregate
TRIANGLE have failed to progress to the group stages of the Caf Confederation Cup after they failed to overturn a two-goal deficit on Mauritanian side FC Nouadhibou in the second leg play-off at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
The Lowveld side needed to score two goals yesterday without reply to force the match into extra time or win the match by a three-goal margin to progress to the group stages, having lost the first leg match 2-0 last week.
Things started horribly for Triangle when FC Nouadhibou took an early lead through Yassin Elwely in the 7th minute.
That means the Taurai Mangwiro-coached side needed to score four goals to advance to the next stage.
They managed to score three, but it proved little after the visitors also scored another goal which saw them progressing to the group stages.
Elwely beat goalkeeper Ronald Mudimu from inside the penalty box after he was set up by Sida Touda.
The visitors also had a penalty by Touda saved by Mudimu two minutes before the breather after the striker was brought down inside the box by Kudzai Chigwida.
A revamped Triangle came back from the break on fire with substitute Simba Makoni equalising on the 49th minute with a header before captain Ralph Kawondera scored the second five minutes later.
The Sugar Sugar Boys continued to pile pressure on Nouadhibou as they looked to overturn the scores and Kawondera had what appeared likeed a genuine goal flagged for off side by the South Sudanese referee.
Pressing for a third goal that would have brought them back into the contest, Triangle were caught on a counter although Mudimu should have done better to an Elwely’s loose shot on the 56th minute, a goal that took the wind out of the hosts’ sails.
Mangwiro’s men managed to score a third nine minutes from time through Tinashe Chivandire, but the damage had already been done.
Mangwiro said: “We were not good enough today. We gave it a fight, but fell short. It is so painful that it’s a matter of being so near yet so far.”
Nouadhibou manager Mauril Njoya said: “I would like to congratulate the Triangle coach. They played a good game. They are a good team. In football, there is something that is called luck. They just didn’t have the luck. My team did not play well. It’s just that God was with us and we scored two goals,” Njoya said.
The visitors finished with 10 men after substitute Sidi Yacoub was shown a straight red card on the 70th minute.
Triangle: R Mudimu, A Chiveya, D Dzvinyai, C Duwa, T January, O Mwerahari (B Chikwenya, 17′), T Chivandire, R Kawondera, G Bero (S Makoni, 32′), A Tavarwisa (D Murimba, 61′), K Chigwida
Nouadhibou: Ndiaye, A Sy, M Cisse, M Kante, S Mhaimid, O Mangane, J Depode (S Yacoub, 51′, red card 70’), S Touda, Y Elwely, A Gaye (E H Tegued, 78′), E Lemrabott