Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) giants Enyimba FC edged Al Ahly Benghazi of Libya 2-1 in their first group game of the 2020/2021 Total CAF Confederation Cup (TotalCAFCC).
Captain Austin Oladapo gave Enyimba the lead with a well executed half-volley in the 9th minute. The midfielder latched onto a clearance to Stanley Okorom’s corner kick to hit home from 20 yards.
While Enyimba seemed to be on the ascendancy, the People’s Elephant were pegged back in the 18th minute after midfielder Anthony Omaka was penalised for tripping an opponent just inside the penalty box.
Abdallah Imhamed kept his cool to send Enyimba goalkeeper John Noble the wrong way from the penalty spot, silencing the just over 200 spectators at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba for the game.
Fatai Osho’s wards would however take a lead into the interval after Victor Mbaoma scored two minutes to the end of the first half. Al Ahly goalkeeper Abdujwad Aboubaker had managed to keep out Anayo Iwuala’s free kick but Mbaoma was on hand to slide home a rebound, for his third goal in the competition.
Enyimba continued on the front foot after the break but not wholeheartedly as they clearly were mindful of not letting their lead slip once again.
They created half chances here and there but were unable to convert them with Cyril Olisema denied a penalty in stoppage time after the referee failed to act on a challenge from behind which stopped him from converting Anayo Iwuala’s cut back.
Enyimba are top of Group A pending the outcome of Wednesday night’s game between Entente Setif and Orlando Pirates at the Accra Sports Stadium, Ghana.
Enyimba’s next group game holds next Wednesday; a road trip to South Africa to face Pirates.
Enyimba XI vs Al Ahly Benghazi;
John Noble; Stanley Okorom, Hassan Abubakar, Nelson Ogbonnaya, Imo Obot; Anthony Omaka, Austin Oladapo, Dayo Ojo (Cyril Olisema 75′); Anayo Iwuala, Samson Obi (Gabriel Orok 75′) Victor Mbaoma.