Mahamadou Cisse's goal in the 78th minute condemned the underwhelming Olukoya Boys to a 1-0 loss at the Agege Stadium.
And their handler believes the Malian Premiere Division outfit got a deserved victory over his wards.
"The Malians were better, both in the first and second half," Ilechukwu said.
"It's not yet over but it is very, very difficult. Right now, there is nothing we can do.
"Sad news, sad result but at the same time, it's football."
So far in their campaigns, the Lagos side have been without their first-choice attackers, who were not registered for the preliminaries rounds.
And, also, with the side failing to make high profile additions prior to the start of the 2017-18 season, the gaffer has blamed the Olukoya Boys administrators for their inadequacies in those regards.
"We don't underrate any team, even grassroots teams. So what we showcased today is what we have. You cannot use what you don't have," he continued.
"Before the league and Caf Champions League started I said a lot of things concerning signing a player. This is what we have and this is what we can use. We can't use what we don't have.
"In football, we say that when you always have 15 players constantly playing games, maybe fatigue, maybe tiredness. I have to check a lot of things.
"There are so many of them. [Having key players absent] is a big problem for me, it's always giving me concern but at the same time, this is what we have. It's painful.
"If I had Sikiru [Olatunbosun], [Jesse] Akila and [Adebayo] Waheed we wouldn't have had this kind of result. But I've talked to the management, do what I can do but it is beyond my position. I can't do anything. This is what we have.
"So whoever isn't happy with the result must understand that this is what we have we and are very, very sorry for what happened.
On chances of his side getting a result enough to see them through to the group stages of the Confederation Cup, Ilechukwu offered a rather realistic response.
"Every coach is almost positive. Fidelis Ilechuwku is positive as well. But in football, you must say the truth. Truth is, in this condition, the Malians have got the advantage but in football, anything can happen," he concluded.