Enyimba’s CAF Confederation Cup Struggles Continue Despite Home Win
By Our Correspondent
Nigeria’s CAF Confederation Cup campaigners, Enyimba FC’s struggles in the continental second tier league continued on Sunday despite wining at home.
Enyimba on Sunday in Aba came from behind to beat visiting ES Setif of Algeria 2-1 in Matchday 3 of the 2021 CAF Confederation Cup.
The People’s Elephant returned to winning ways though after they fought back from a goal down to pick the maximum points.
Enyimba came into the fixture determined to get three maximum points and return to the top of Group A.
Fatai Osho, Enyimba’s head coach, demonstrated the conviction by making four changes to the team that lost to Orlando Pirates in South Africa last month.
Tosin Omoyele spearheaded the attack in place of Victor Mboama and Dayo Ojo replaced Anthony Omaka in midfield.
Abiodun Adedayo came in for Hassan Abubakar at the heart of the defence while Emmanuel Ampiah’s rigidity at left-back was picked over Imo Ibot.
However, the hosts were shocked in the 13th minute by a Setif side that was desperate to escape an early exit from the competition.
A luscious team build-up allowed Monsef Bakrar to tap into an empty net after John Noble, Enyimba’s goalkeeper, had been eliminated by a slick exchange of passes.
It was the Algerian club’s first goal in the competition this season but they were shaken out of their revelry almost immediately.
An awkward defending led to Ojo getting upended in the box and Enyimba was awarded a penalty, but Austin Oladapo’s strike from the resultant penalty was stymied away by Sofiane Khedairia, Setif’s goalkeeper.
The Black Eagles weren’t off the hook yet as Enyimba kept piling up the pressure.
Nelson Ogbonnaya rattled the upright from a brilliant header. Omoyele’s shot missed the goal by the skin of teeth after Anayo Iwuala set him up.
Then, five minutes before halftime, the inevitable happened. Oladapo amended his earlier gaffe from the spot. He equalised with an exquisite left-footed shot that sent the ball skidding into the bottom right corner.
It was the captain’s third goal of the competition and it placed above the leading scorers’ chart.
The People’s Elephants then completed the comeback in the 60th minute. Iwuala, after a brief moment of magic, fed Omoyele once again. This time, the striker made no mistake. The finish was low and powerful down the right-side of the onrushing Khedairia.
The victory sent Enyimba top of the group with six points, after Al Ahly Benghazi and Orlando Pirates tie ended in a scoreless draw.
Enyimba despite topping the group have not be ruthless and clinical in the third part of the field. They have struggled to destroy teams at home and their away form leaves much to be desired.
Enyimba will need minimum of 10 points, hoping that other results go their way to reach the quarter-final stage