Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
THREE minutes of defensive lapses could ruin all the excellent work that Triangle had put into their debut campaign in this year’s CAF Confederation Cup. But the Lowveld outfit believe they are still in it despite losing to Mauritanian side FC Nouadhibou. The Sugar Sugar Boys’ fairy-tale run in this competition suffered a major setback in Nouakchott on Sunday night when they went down 0-2 in the first leg of the group stage play-off.
Taurai Mangwiro’s men acquitted themselves well in the opening 45 minutes when they managed to hold their opponents at bay.
But Mahamane Cisse broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute before the home skipper Abdulaye Gueye thundered home the second three minutes later.
This result left Triangle with a tall order ahead of the second leg at Barbourfields this Sunday where they now need to win by, at least, three clear goals to sail through.
“We fell short against Nouadhibou in Mauritania, a game which just took a dramatic turn in a three-minute blitz between the 52nd and 55th minutes whereby they scored two goals in quick succession,’’ said Mangwiro.
“The first one, the players were standing at akimbo while hoping that the referee would blow after the ball had gone out.
“Unfortunately, he did not and they scored from that situation. “Three minutes later, they attacked us through the centre and got their second goal. But, overall, we created more chances, maybe five or six very good chances which we somehow failed to do justice to.
“Going into the second leg we know we have an uphill task ahead of us. It may seem insurmountable because we have a deficit to clear and I believe we still have a very good chance.
“All we need is to remain focused, work on our conversion rate and at the same time we don’t want to be conceding because an away goal for them would mean a lot.’’
Triangle are taking part in the CAF interclub competitions for the first time in their history.
Nouadhibou are one of the 16 teams that crashed out of the Champions League and dropped into the second-tier competition following a 1-6 aggregate defeat at the hands of Wydad Casablanca.
The Mauritanians celebrate their 20th anniversary this year.