Nigeria’s last two teams standing in this year’s continental competitions, Enyimba FC and Rivers United managed to scale through to the first round of the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup, respectively after surviving huge scare at home.
In Aba, Enyimba – gave their fans so much hope last week when they went to Ouagadougou to beat Burkina Faso’s Rahimo FC 1-0 – were forced to a one-all draw at home but still managed to progress 2-1 on aggregate to the first round of the CAF Champions League.
In Port Harcourt, Futuro of Equatorial Guinea created panic in the Garden City as they battled the home team to a standstill. The game ended 2-1 in favour of the Pride of Rivers to tie both legs at 3-3 aggregate. The first leg ended in favour of Futuro by same score line.
Rivers United had over 20 goal attempts with little to show for the efforts. The visitors Futuro had just one shot on or off target and they scored with it. They then sat back and played for the shootouts.
It was a game plan that almost worked to perfection but Ostino Egbe, the Rivers United goalkeeper lived up to the threat of the men from Equatorial Guinea.
With the penalty shootout on the card, Technical Adviser of United, Stanley Eguma brought in penalty specialist, Chigozie Ihunda for Mike Gopey Stephen.
Egbe saved three of the spot kicks by the visitors to emerge man of the match.
Luck smiled on Rivers United as they won 2-0 to advance to the first round of the CAF Confederation Cup
The Rivers State owned team are to next Play South Africa’s Bloemfoentain Celtics club.
Earlier on Saturday, Nigeria’s other teams in continental campaign Plateau United crashed out of the CAF Champions League after battling to a 0-0 draw against Simba SC of Tanzania in their preliminary round second leg tie away at the Mkapa Stadium.
Abdu Maikaba’s side lost 1-0 in the first leg at the New Jos International Stadium. The Jos club exited the competition losing 1-0 on aggregate
In the CAF Confederation Cup, Kano Pillars also crashed out in the preliminary round following a 0-0 draw against Senegalese club ASC Jaraaf at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna. The Sai Masu Gida lost 3-1 on aggregate.