Nigeria’s representatives in the 2019/20 Total CAF Champions League (CAFCL) Enyimba and Kano Pillars were left walking tight ropes after their preliminary round first leg games on Saturday.
Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions Enyimba lost 0-1 to Burkina Faso champions Rahimo FC in Ouagadougou, leaving them with no luxury of an away goal to bring back ahead of the second leg in Aba in a fortnight.
Forward Issouf Zinon scored the game’s only goal on the half hour mark when he punished laxed defending by the Nigerian side. Enyimba will hope to overturn the deficit when both sides meet again at the Enyimba International Stadium on August 25.
Nigeria’s other Champions League campaigners Kano Pillars won their game against Ghana’s Asante Kotoko 3-2 in front of a mammoth crowd at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano.
Pillars got a dream lead when Rahaqqu Adamu slotted into the bottom corner after ten minutes but the former NPFL champions conceded an equaliser ten minutes after the break when Justice Blay headed home for Kotoko.
The visitors took a shock lead in the 68th minute when Godfred Asiamah won and curled home a brilliant free kick. Pillars however levelled three minutes later through a volley by Rabiu Ali. Gambo Muhammad netted the winner for Sai Masu Gida fourteen minutes from time.
In the Confederation Cup, Niger Tornadoes were beaten 2-1 in Kaduna by Guinean side Santoba FC. The relegated Aiteo Cup finalists conceded a goal in each half before substitute Godwin Zaki halved the deficit from the penalty spot.
The result leaves Abubakar Bala’s side with a mountain to climb in the second leg in Conakry in a fortnight’s time.