After initially going two goals down in the first half, Nnamdi Egbujuo gave the Flying Antelopes a lifeline as he popped up with a vital away goal for the Nigeria flag-bearers before the half-time break.
Both teams fired blanks in the second half as Pelican held on to the slim advantage.
The Flying Antelopes will be looking to turn the tie on its head in the return leg billed for September 29th at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, fondly referred to as ‘The Cathedral’.
The caretaker manager of the Enugu-based team, Benedict Uguw, had admitted that he had limited knowledge about AS Pelican before Saturday's game.
Rangers failed to make it out of the group stage last season of the same competition but they are hoping for a better performance this time.
The Flying Antelopes are infamously the first Nigerian team to lose to a Gabonese club in a Caf club competition.