CAFCC: Enyimba Survive Rahimo Scare To Progress
Enyimba survived a Rahimo scare to progress 2-1 on aggregate after Sunday’s 1-1 draw in the Caf Champions League preliminary round second leg match.
Captain Austin Oladapo gave Enyimba the lead on the hour mark before the visitors drew level on the night through Pape Ware with 15 minutes to go.
The Aba giants came into this encounter having recorded a 1-0 away victory in the first-leg played at Stade du 4 Aout, Ouagadougou, with Victor Mbaoma’s 75th-minute goal making the difference.
Knowing that anything short of victory would see them crash out of the competition, the Burkinabe Premier League team came to Nigeria with the ambition of shocking the two-time African champions.
As expected, Rahimo matched Fatai Osho’s men strength for strength, but could not beat goalkeeper Olufemi Thomas.
In the opening 24 minutes, four corner kicks tumbled for the hosts at the Enyimba International Stadium, however, none resulted in a goal.
After a fruitless first 45 minutes, Enyimba returned for the second half with all guns blazing. They almost took the lead in the 50th minute but Tosin Omoyele failed to convert Anayo Iwuala’s cross.
Despite the introduction of Mbaoma for Omoyele, the Nigerians struggled to take the initiative largely to their inability to convert their chances in front of goal.
On the hour mark, Oladapo gave Osho’s men a well-deserved lead after volleying home a poor clearance by the visiting side.
That strike was what woke Rahimo from their slumber as they attacked their hosts in their numbers with 19-year-old Boubacar Guira forcing a brilliant save from goalkeeper Kayode in the 64th minute.
Their persistence paid off in the 75th minute as Ware found a sumptuous moment to score the leveller.
Needing one more goal to progress to the next round of the competition, the visitors swarmed the Peoples’ Elephant’s backline but were unable to get the important strike.
In the closing stages of the tension-soaked encounter, Enyimba were reduced to ten men as Imo Obot was given his marching orders by the referee for dangerous play, but that did not halt their progression. (Goal)