Enyimba
is the only Nigerian club left in Africa as three others were
eliminated on the same match day of the Confederation Cup.

Enyimba
beat Bidvest Wits 1-1 on aggregate scores after drawing 0-0 in the
2nd
leg played at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar on Wednesday.

The
two-time African champions came into the encounter on the back of a
1-1 first leg result, and that priceless away goal proved the
difference on the day.

Paul
Aigbogun made four changes to his starting lineup from the first leg
in Johannesburg, all of which were injury-enforced; there was notably
no place for flying winger Stanley Dimgba, who picked up a knock on
the eve of the game.

The
theme of the game would be its tremendous intensity, buttressed by
numerous fouls and snapping tackles in the middle of the park. This
lent itself to a nervy encounter, with neither side able to exert
control in midfield.

There
was finally action close to goal as the game neared the half-hour
mark.

Abdulrahman
Bashir looked likeliest, playing a one-two on the edge of the area
before seeing his low cross cleared on the stretch.

He
was involved in his own box soon after, clearing a dangerous cross by
Daine Klate, as the Clever Boys came into the game. Left-back Keegan
Ritchie, improbably sporting the number 10 shirt, called Fatau Dauda
into action just before the break with a swerving drive from way out.

The
visitors had the first real chance of the second period, as Bongani
Khumalo’s header almost crept in at the near post. Wits then had a
glorious chance to take the lead, as a low cross to the back post
found an unmarked Eleazar Rodgers, but the targetman sent his effort
over the top.

That
seemed to snap the People‚Äôs Elephant awake, and the game’s best
chance materialized at the other end. Bashir was again at the heart
of it, playing a delightful ball over the top for Freedom Omofoman to
chase. The winger’s searing pace took him clear, but his finish
bobbled narrowly wide, to much incredulity.

It
was almost predictable, given the full-blooded nature of the physical
duels, that someone would get into hot water with the referee. The
villain of the piece would be Ghana international Edwin Gyimah. His
wild lunge at Austin Oladapo in the centre circle saw him receive a
straight red card and reduced the visitors to 10 men for the final 20
minutes.

The
tempo flagged following the expulsion, but then sped up in the final
moments. Wits somehow made a meal of a promising counter, and then
fouled the busy Omofoman as he hared into the box in the last minute.
Oladapo’s spot kick was brilliantly saved by Kyle Peters, but it
would be of no consequence, as the game ended goalless.

The
People’s Elephant advance to the CAF Confederation Cup Group Stage,
and will be in the hat for the draws on Saturday in Cairo.

FINAL:
Enyimba 0-0 Bidvest Wits

Enyimba
Starting XI:
Fatau Dauda, Andrew Abalogu, Ifeanyi Anaemena,
Isiaka Oladuntoye, Ikouwem Udo, Farouk Mohammed, Austin Oladapo,
Ikechukwu Ibenegbu (Chinedu Udeagha), Stephen Chukwude, Abdulrahman
Bashir, Chinonso Okonkwo (Freedom Omofoman)

Unused
subs:
Theophilus Afelokhai, Ernest Governor, Uche John, Wasiu
Alalade, Ugochukwu Leonard

Bidvest
Wits Starting XI:
Moeneeb Josephs (Kyle Peters), Buhlebuyeza
Mkhwanazi, Bongani Khumalo, Daine Klate, Eleazar Rodgers, Keegan
Ritchie, Daylon Claasen (Thabang Monare), Thobani Mncwango, Reeve
Frosler, Sifiso Myeni (Elias Pelembe), Edwin Gyimah

Unused
subs:
Lehlohonolo Majoro, Maliele Pule

Yellow
cards:
Eleazar Rodgers, Reeve Frosler (BID)

Red
cards:
Edwin Gyimah (BID) 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here