Enyimba in, Akwa, Plateau United, MFM knocked out of CAF Confederation Cup
But that is what Nigerian clubs in the CAF Confederation Cup gave to their fans yesterday when three out of the four teams in the competition failed to make it to the group stage of the championship.
Nigeria had four teams, Enyimba, Plateau United, MFM and Akwa United in the competition going to second leg of the final qualifying games in midweek.
Of the four, only Enyimba had the clear chance to progress having managed a 1-1 draw with Bidvest Wits of South Africa in Johannesburg.
Plateau United and Akwa United had slim hopes of advancing as they recorded a 2-1 win and a 0-2 loss in the first leg of their ties against USM Alger of Algeria in Lagos and Al Hilal of Sudan in Omdurman respectively.
MFM’s case was near hopeless as it lost its home leg 0-1 to Djoliba of Mali.
Yesterday in Calabar, Enyimba, despite fluffing a penalty kick, got the goalless draw it needed to make the group stage of the competition, while Akwa United failed to make it despite a 3-1 win in Uyo. Akwa United lost on the away goal rule as the tie ended 3-3 on aggregate.
Enyimba goalkeeper, Fatau Dauda lived a charmed life in the game as he was always at the right place to thwart the desperate South Africans. He produced a fine safe to deny Bongani Khumalo from scoring with a header in the 55th minute and also helped the Peoples Elephant to launch their attacks in the dying moments of the game.
Wits was reduced to 10 men in the 68th minute when Edwin Gyimah was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Oladapo.
Enyimba was awarded a penalty in the 90th minute when Omofoman was adjudged to have been brought down in the box. Oladapo stepped up to take the spot-kick, but saw his effort saved by substitute goalkeeper Kyle Peters, while Ifeanyi Anaemena fired wide from the rebound.
In Algiers, goals from Oussama Darfalou, Kaddour Beldjilali and Mohamed Benkhemassa ensured that USM Algers beat Plateau United 3-0 to win the tie 4-2 on aggregate.
In Mali, MFM drew goalless with Djoliba to exit the competition on a 1-0 deficit following its loss in the first leg in Lagos.
Akwa United could have also made the group stage if its strikers had the composure to put away the many chances they had in the high-octane game.
At the end, the game ended 3-1 and 3-3 on aggregate, handing the advantage to Al Hilal on the away goal rule.
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