End of the road as Enyimba hold Pyramids 1-1, crash out
Nigeria’s only remaining hope of winning a continental club title this season ended yesterday in Aba where Enyimba could only manage a 1-1 draw with Pyramids FC of Egypt.
Enyimba lost the first leg in Cairo 1-4 and needed a 3-0 victory in Aba to upstage the Egyptians and qualify for the semifinals of the CAF Confederation Cup. But the hope of overturning the deficit ended in the 32nd minute when Ibrahim Adel put the visitors in front with members of the Abia State executive council, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) chieftains and a mass of supporters watching.
It then became a Herculean task as Enyimba needed to score four without conceding any to have the day. But for a club that has not won with more than a 2-0 margin this season in Aba, it was asking for too much.
The Peoples Elephant managed to get one back in the 40th minute when Super Eagles star, Anayo Iwuala, curled one from the edge of the box. And that was all Enyimba had to show for their efforts on a day many tipped them to fly. Fatai Osho’s men bowed out on a 5-2 aggregate defeat.
The first half ended 1-1. Osho opted for new legs six minutes after the restart, with Augustine Oladapo, Gabriel Orok and Nabil Yarou joining the battle in place of Philip Ozor, Victor Mbaoma and Nelson Ogbonnaya respectively.
But their search for goals met a brick wall in Pyramids’ goalkeeper, Ahmed El Shenawy, who dived, punched and threw himself every which way to repel Enyimba’s attacks.
With their victory, Pyramids will face the winner of the clash between Raja Casablanca and Orlando Pirates in the semifinal stage. The first leg in South Africa ended 1-1.
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