CAF: Enyimba, Rivers United scale through

CAF: Enyimba, Rivers United scale through

There was joy for Nigerian teams at last in CAF club competitions on Sunday as the duo of Enyimba FC and Rivers United were made to sweat but ultimately scaled through to the next round of their competitions.

In the Total CAF Champions League, former African champions Enyimba surprisingly failed to beat Burkina Faso champions Rahimo FC on their home turf in Aba, but their 1-1 draw was sufficient to see them through to the next round after a 1-0 win in Ouagadougou last Sunday.

After labouring for about an hour of the game, team captain Austin Oladapo gave Enyimba the lead exactly on the hour mark with a trademark long range effort, this time from the edge of the box. The visitors levelled fifteen minutes from time through Pape Ware to set up a grandstand finale with Enyimba left back Imo Obot receiving a second yellow card in stoppage time.

Enyimba held on though and will next face Sudanese side Al Merreikh for a place in the group stage of the Champions League. First leg will hold at the Al Hilal Stadium, Omdurman on December 23 while the second leg holds in Aba two weeks later.

In the Total CAF Confederation Cup, Rivers United goalkeeper Ospino Egbe saved three penalty kicks to send his side to the next round after a pulsating match against Futuro Kings de Mongomo of Equatorial Guinea ended 2-1 in regulation time.

Midfielders Godwin Aguda and Kehinde Adedipe scored for United in the first half but the visitors scored seven minutes after the interval through Asu Pedro Oba. The result pegged both sides at 3-3 on aggregate after the two legs with penalties being required to separate them.

From the ensuing shoot out, Futuro Kings players missed all of their four efforts with Ospino saving three while Bakari Bamba and Kunle Odunlami scored theirs to give United the win.

Stanley Eguma’s Pride of Rivers will next face South African side Bloemfontein Celtic in the first round of the competition with the first leg to hold in South Africa seventeen days from now.

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