LMC commends Enyimba over Etoile du Sahel’s defeat
The League Management Company (LMC) has commended the players and management of Enyimba International FC of Aba for booking a place in the group stage of the 2016 CAF Champions League competition.
Shehu Dikko, the Chairman of LMC told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday that the team exhibited the “Nigerian spirit.’’
NAN reports that Enyimba, Nigeria’s remaining representative in the competition defeated Etoile du Sahel FC in Sousse, 4-3 on penalties after the tie ended 3-3 on aggregate to cruise into the group stage.
Etoile had scored three goals in the 43rd, 61st and 75th minutes to cancel Enyimba’s three goals advantage from the first leg encounter, played in Port Harcourt a fortnight ago.
The game, however, went into straight penalty shootout with both clubs losing two of their spot kicks respectively before Enyimba won 4-3 via a `sudden-death.’
Dikko while applauding the team’s performance noted that the feat was the beginning of the turnaround of the country’s performance at international competitions.
“Enyimba has shown the Nigerian spirit; they were three goals down, but they never collapsed and could have scored the away goal at the 86th minute to win the match.
“The team also lost its first two penalties in the penalty shootout; still, it never gave up and clawed their way back.
“It had a chance to score its 6th penalty to win the encounter but it was missed and they never gave up.
“Etoile went on to miss another kick before Enyimba got the result by the 7th penalty to win the match.
“There is no better way to demonstrate the Nigerian spirit and this is how we use to know Nigerian teams; and may this be the beginning of the turnaround to our international football performances,” Dikko said.
The win ensured Enyimba became the first Nigerian team since 2012 to reach the group stage (money spinning stage) of the competition.
NAN reports that defending champions TP Mazembe were thrown out of the competition having played a 1-1 draw with Wydad Casablanca in Wednesday’s second leg and losing out on a 3-1 aggregate scoreline.
Record eight-time African champions Al Ahly, Vita Club of DR Congo, ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’Ívoire, Entente Setif of Algeria, Zamalek of Egypt, and Zesco United of Zambia also qualified for the group stage.
Draws for the group stage will be made on May 24