Nigerian cup champions Akwa United suffered a 2-0 defeat to Sudanese league champions Al Hilal in their first leg CAF Confederation Cup playoff round encounter at the Al Hilal Stadium in Omdurman on Sunday.
Al Sadig Selash Mohammed gave the hosts the lead in the 21st minute, latching on to Geovane Silva’s pass to finish from close range, beyond Olorunleke Ojo in the Akwa United goal.
They added a second, five minutes later through defender Hussein Ibrahim Morsal who spurned a badly set offside trap before powering home Azeez Shobowale’s cross with a bullet header.
The Nigerians received a further blow early in the second half when midfielder Michael Ibe Okoro was stretchered off with his place taken by the teenage Haggai Katoh. That did not have too much effect on Abdu Maikaba’s men though as they put up a better performance in the second half.
Despite their seeming improvement, the Promise Keepers ultimately failed to get what could have been a crucial away goal ahead of the return leg match at the Nest of Champions in Uyo on April 18.
Akwa United became the second Nigerian side to lose their first leg game in the playoff round of Africa’s second tier club competition on Sunday after MFM FC lost 0-1 at home to Djoliba in Lagos.