By Amaechi Agbo
But for Enyimba International FC’s 0-1 win against Rahimo FC of Burkina Faso in fa r away Ouagadougou, Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL representatives at the 2020/2021 CAF inter-club competitions would have come back home like a terrified dog with tail in-between their legs.
However, Enyimba, who has consistently remained Nigeria’s best continental NPFL club braved all odds and silenced the home crowd by picking the available three points from the host.
Victor Mbaoma came off the bench to head in the winner in the 73rd minute as Enyimba defeated Rahimo FC 1-0 at the Stade du 4 Août, Ouagadougou on Sunday evening.
The all-action fixture looked to be heading towards a scoreless end until Mbaoma rose high to meet Anayo Iwuala’s corner, with the ball hitting the crossbar before falling into the net.
Enyimba started brightly, with the first chance arriving after ninety seconds, but Stephen Manyo’s low cross from inside the box strayed harmlessly away.
Debutante Sadiq Abubuakar followed up with a long-range effort shortly after, but that seemed to be all for the chances until the restart when both sides appeared more purposeful.
Following a flurry of end-to-end moments, Mbaoma replaced Tosin Omoyele on the hour mark and made the difference fourteen minutes from time to place Fatai Osho’s men in a real place of strength in the Champions League tie.
The People’s Elephant will return to the Enyimba Stadium for the return fixture next Sunday.
In other CAF Champions League match also on Sunday played by Plateau United, playing at home in Jos, lost 0:1 to Simba SC to put their qualification to the next round in jeopardy.
In the Confederation Cup, two NPFL representatives, Rivers United and Kano Pillars tested defeats in their away matches.
Rivers United lost 2-1 to Equatorial Guinea side, Futuro Kings while Kano Pillars where hammered -3 by ASC Jaraaf of Senegal
The return legs of the matches will be played in the weekend of 4-6 December, 2020.