CAF Champions League: Eyimba Trash Buffles, To Meet Smouha
The People's Elephant qualified to the next round of the Champions League where they will face the North Africans
Enyimba will face Smouha Sporting Club of Egypt in the first round of the Caf Champions League after seeing off Buffles de Borgou of Benin Republic 4-0 on aggregate in the preliminary round fixture concluded on Sunday evening in Cotonou.
The Aba Millionaires had already beaten Buffles 3-0 in the first leg played in Aba two weeks ago but the threat from the Beninois side that they would overturn the deficit meant that Enyimba went into the return leg with anxiety at the Stade de l'Amitie de Kouhounou in Cotonou.
The hosts had the better of the early exchanges in the first half and in fact Enyimba had to rely on the good reflexes of their goalkeeper Chijioke Ejiogu to deter Buffles from scoring an early goal but things changed for the better for the visitors in the second half.
Kadiri Ikhana's boys were able to soak the pressure in the first half but in the second half they capitalized on the loopholes in the Buffles team to net the only goal of the match in the 50th minute after Andrew Abalogu struck through a powerful header.
Buffles surged forward in numbers to make the scores respectable but Enyimba were resolute and held on.
The hosts however resorted to bad tackles when they became aware that there was nothing they could do to salvage even a draw and in the process Enyimba midfielder and national U23 player, Bobby Sokari was injured.
Enyimba stood their ground and they got a famous win in Cotonou. It was the club’s first away win since March 9, 2014 when they secured an inconsequential 1-0 victory in Bamako, Mali but still lost out to Real de Bamako in the first round of the same competition.
The People’s Elephant will battle the 2013/14 Egyptian Premier League runners-up, Smouha Sporting Club next in the first round with the first leg coming up in Aba on March 15 before the return leg in Cairo on the weekend of April 3-5.