Enyimba through to CAF Champions League 1st round

Mfon Udoh
by Zazi Bariza

A brace from Mfon Udoh ensured that Enyimba International FC beat Vipers SC of Uganda to qualify for the first round of the CAF Champions League on a 2-1 aggregate.

The Nigerian League Champions came into the fixture on the trail of their Guinean counterparts after the reverse fixture was decided by a solitary goal from Erisa Sekisambu, and needed to win by at least two clear goals to progress within regulation time.

Enyimba started strongly and created scoring chances but soon lost experienced back man, Emma Anyanwu through injury, forcing coach Paul Aiyegbogun to call on Ifeanyi Anaemena from the bench.

After a series of missed chances, The People’s Elephants took the lead in the 32nd minute when Mfon Udoh converted from the spot after an infringement on Bathelomew Ibenegbu in the box, bringing their run of  7 hours 4 minutes without a goal in competitive games to an end.  

There was a chance to double the lead four minutes later but Joseph Osadieye missed a one-on-one chance with Alitho James in goal for Vipers.

Consequently, that was the score that fixture took to the break, leaving the tie on a dicey 1-1 aggregate.

As the second half began, Peter Onyakachi was replaced by Ugochukwu Leonard and Enyimba continued to dominate with Mfom Udoh and Bathelomew Ibenegbu the stand out men.

They however got their winner when Udoh got his brace with a deft back heel in the 61st minute.

Enyimba bossed play afterwards, but 2-0 was just enough to see them through to the first round.

Contrasting fortunes for Nasarawa United, Akwa United

Nasarawa United, widely believed to have a slim chance of progressing after managing a 2-1 win over Senegalese second tier outfit Generation Foot, played out a goalless draw in Dakar in the second leg.

Nasarawa United will face Algerian side CS Constantine in March over two legs.

Akwa United made life difficult for themselves in the reverse fixture against Congolese side Vile Club Mokanda in spite of winning the first leg 1-0 in Pointe-Noire.

Mokanda leveled the aggregate scores through Kalumpubu and held on to their lead on the day till full time, forcing the game into penalties.

In the opening five spot kicks, both teams lost a penalty apiece with Abdulafeez failing to score and it meant they went into sudden kick.

Vita Club Mokanda scored their seventh spot kick but Ubong Ekpai missed for Akwa United, allowing the Congolese side to progress on a 6-5 penalty win.

Akwa United’s captain, Otobong Effiong told naijafootball247.com that the reason for their loss via penalty shoot outs was that they did not train for penalty kicks.

“We trained well for the match but did not practice penalty kicks. There was no need practicing to play penalty kicks because we never expected the game to get to that point,” Effiong said.

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  1. Akwa's Captain is a fool for making such comments & if they're anything to go by, then the coaching crew needs to be flogged & paraded round the streets of Uyo naked for such a high profile blunder!

    How can u not prepare for penalty kicks in a game of this magnitude? Is that why they missed the one awarded them during normal time?

    *flimsy excuse!

    *Ghanaman signing out*