Nigeria giants Enyimba FC recorded an away win on Saturday in Finidi George’s first game in charge of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) club.
Finidi, 50, named head coach of the former African champions two months ago led his wards to a TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup game in Senegal against Diambars FC.
In the game decided at the Stade Lat-Dior in the city of Thies, Senegal, Enyimba – semi-finalists in this competition in 2018 – produced a resilient display to win the first leg, first round encounter 1-0.
Finidi included new signings Olorunleke Ojo, Kunle Adeleke and Fatai Abdullahi (all from Abia Warriors) in his starting lineup while giving defender Somiari Alalibo his debut in continental football.
It was Ojo who made a couple of fine saves in each half to keep Enyimba in the game before the People’s Elephant were presented with a golden opportunity to score three minutes from time after substitute Gabriel Orok was upended inside the box.
FT: Diambars (Senegal) 0-1 Enyimba (Nigeria)— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) October 16, 2021
Cyril Olisema's late penalty hands Finidi George a win in his first game in charge of Enyimba.
His players commemorate the goal with Finidi's kind of celebration against Greece in 1994.#TotalEnergiesCAFCC pic.twitter.com/vM6ZYRkiht
Another substitute Cyril Olisema stepped up and duly converted the kick to give Enyimba a good advantage going into the return leg in Aba, South East Nigeria next Sunday.
Finidi George said after his baptism of fire; “It was a good game for us and also a good beginning. The game plan worked for us and we hope to do better in the rest of the game.”
Nigeria’s other representative in the Confederation Cup, Bayelsa United will host Tunisian side CS Sfaxien in their first leg first round match in Yenagoa on Sunday.