Fidelis Ilechukwu has apologized to Nigerians after Plateau United missed out on qualifications to the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup after conceding three second-half goals against Libya’s Al Akhdar in the 2nd leg of the play-off round fixture played in Benghazi.
Despite going into the game with a 4-1 scoreline, Al Akhdar qualified on the away goal rule after the aggregate result stood at 4-4.
Ilechukwu who was filled with sad emotions said in a WhatsApp call: “Let me start by expressing my sincere apologies to football-loving Nigerians and good people of Plateau State, and on behalf of Plateau United, I’m deeply sorry.
“It was a disappointing game and a sad evening for me and the entire team, as it was one of the low moments of my coaching career.
“I would never have imagined Plateau United not qualifying for the group stage of the Confederation Cup with a 3-0 advantage after the 1st half ended 0-0.
“Having learnt a bitter lesson in the Champions League game against Esperance in Tunis, we came into the game against Al Akhdar full of confidence.
“At a point, we had the game in our hands and almost made history for ourselves but not converting the half chances that came our way, was our biggest challenge.
“Plateau United scoring a goal or two in Benghazi would have broken barriers. I have tried to recall and analyse a few high points of the game but difficult for me to say exactly how Plateau United conceded the third goal in added time.
“Our campaign may have ended abruptly, but I want to reassure Nigerians that the team will bounce back from the ashes of the painful defeat in Benghazi.”