The Nigerian champions have been dumped out of the lucrative club competition after they couldn't protect their three goal lead from the first leg in CongoKano Pillars have exited the Caf Champions League after they lost out on the away goal rule to AC Leopards of Congo on Sunday night.
Pillars led 4-1 after the first leg played about three weeks ago but AC Leopards who only last year accounted for the elimination of Heartland in the Caf Confederation Cup by the same away goal rule repeated same feat in Dolise when they triumphed 3-0 in a hotly contested match allegedly marred by poor officiating.
Leopards marched to victory in the second tier Caf Confederation Cup last year based on their incredible form in Dolise where they play their home matches and beating them in the lucrative club competition would always be a tall order despite the healthy goal lead after the first leg in Kano.
Speaking with Goal.com, Pillars' media officer Idris Malikawa informed that they got a wind of what would later transpire the first time they stepped into Congo and that they acted the script well to their utmost surprise.
He said the game was evenly matched in the first half which ended goalless but added that the centre referee changed completely at the start of the second half and made questionable calls to favour AC Leopards until they got the goals they wanted to oust Pillars from the competition.
“I really cannot believe what we saw in Congo. It was daylight robbery especially in the second half. There was no way we could have survived and qualified for the next stage of the competition.
Kano Pillars are already in Nigeria as they returned immediately after the match.
With the loss in Dolise, it remains only Enugu Rangers as Nigeria's representatives in Africa as Lobi Stars, Heartland and Pillars have all been eliminated in the two competitions.