Enyimba lose N253m as Champions League dreams collapse | Dailytrust

Enyimba lose N253m as Champions League dreams collapse

Action between Enyimba and Al-Merrikh during the first leg of the CAF Champions League group stage in Sudan

Two-time Champions League winner, Enyimba International have failed to redeem their image in African football following their failure to overturn a 3-0 deficit suffered at Al-Merrikh Stadium in Omdurman.

The Aba Warriors who needed to score four unreplied goals could only manage a 2-1 win at home to crash out of the CAF Champions League 4-2 on aggregate.

This failure has cost the eight-time Nigerian league champions a handsome payoff of $550,000 (about 253 million Naira) and have now been demoted to the CAF Confederation Cup playoff round.

Saif Terry, who fired a hat-trick in the first game in Sudan, opened scoring in Aba after just seven minutes when he punished slack defending by the home team.

The goal made the task for the People’s Elephant more difficult as they then needed five more goals to qualify.

Star striker, Victor Mbaoma, who missed the game in Sudan due to injury, levelled proceedings with a simple tap in six minutes later to raise hopes of qualifying.

Four minutes into the second half, Enyimba took the lead for the first time in the encounter from the penalty spot, Mbaoma slotting home after Kadiri had been tripped in the box.

Mbaoma’s second goal further raised the hopes of the Nigerian side to stage a comeback and win the tie but for the resolute defending of the Sudanese.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s other club side in the Confederation Cup, Rivers United await further communication from CAF about the rescheduling of their second leg, first leg tie with Bloemfontein Celtic.

The tie, which was scheduled for yesterday in Port Harcourt was called off after Nigerian health authorities, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) declined to issue the South Africans with waivers from COVID-19 protocols.

Rivers United lead 2-0 from the first leg and will progress to the next stage if they avoid defeat.