Enyimba captain, Chinedu Udoji
By
Zazi Bariza
Nigerian
Champions Enyimba are the only hope of Nigerian representation in the group
stages of CAF club competitions this year following a commanding 6-3 aggregate
victory over Burundian champions Vital’O in the first round of the CAF
Champions League.
With
a 5-1 first leg win, Enyimba had put the tie beyond their opponents, rendering
any boasts of a comeback from the Burundians empty.
Consequently,
the 1-2 loss in the return fixture in Bujumbura could not do any harm to
Enyimba group stage ambitions.
It
was the visitors that went ahead through Ikechukwu Ibenegbu before the half
hour, but Vital’O responded with goals from Shasiri Nahimana  and Laudit Mavugo to win before their home
fans.
The
People’s Elephants will next face Etoile du Sahel, who bundled out Khouribga 3-1
on aggregate.  First leg will be played
in Nigeria on the weekend of 8th-10th April; while the
return fixture will come up two weeks later.
Warri Wolves,
Nasarawa United crash out
Meanwhile,
Nigeria’s other representatives in the Champions League, Warri Wolves crashed
out after 2-0 aggregate loss to Al-Mereikh.
Wolves
were hoping to overturn their 1-0 home loss, but the Sudanese scored in the
first half to confirm their exit from Africa’s elite club competition on the
first time of asking.
In
the CAF Confederation Cup, Nasarawa United were pummeled 4 -1 by SC
Constantine, ending the tie on a 5-2 aggregate loss.
United,
narrowly won the first leg 2-1, but looked likely to advance after Yaro
Bature’s 67th minute goal cancelled Constantine’s first half
opener.  However, a goal crazy final
thirteen minutes saw the hosts pump in three goals to take the tie beyond the
Nigerians.
The
last time a Nigerian club made it to the group stage of any of CAF’s club
competitions was in 2012 when Gbenga Ogunbote led Sunshine Stars to the semi
final of the Champions League.

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