CARA Brazzaville crumbled to 1-0 defeat against a very determined Enyimba in Wednesday’s Caf Confederation Cup encounter in Aba, according to head coach Jacque Ontsira.
Before the crucial contest, the Congolese side sat on top of Group C with nine points - tied on points with the Nigerians as the former ahead on superior goal difference.
With a draw enough to see them through, the visitors were on the brink of picking a valuable point until the hosts found the net in the 94th minute through substitute Wasiu Alalade.
And the gaffer was unmoved by the late defeat as he hails his side’s impressive performance and eventual qualification to the quarterfinal, having finished as runners-up on the standings.
“I think that we lost to a very determined team who were playing their first competitive game here [at the Aba Stadium],” Ontsira told media.
“During our training before the match, we found out that it was a new turf and we knew it was going to be a very tough afternoon. Both matches were played simultaneously and Enyimba needed to win to qualify.
“We came with the aim to win but since we saw the atmosphere and approach of Enyimba were not likely to be favourable, we tried to sit tight and get a draw that will see us through. They had tactical and talented players and we had to play a bit more defensive to get a good result.
“In West Africa, we have countries like Ghana, Nigeria and Cote d’ Ivoire that are top classes for us to come better. For us to get out of the group, we are learning from it and very proud to have competed well against the teams and gave a good account of themselves.
“Every tactic in every match is a risk but we did our best which should have worked but we conceded a late goal, though glad that the result of the other match ended in a draw. Despite we lost, we are happy to qualify.”