Enyimba
Football Club came through a hard-fought game with a 1-0 win over
Niger Tornadoes in Calabar on Wednesday.       
                                                                                                                                      The
People’s Elephant, taking the pitch for the first time since a
disappointing defeat in the CAF Confederation Cup, got back on track
in added time at the end of the second half, striker Emeka Obioma
heading home the winner from a Nasiru Sani cross.
                                                                                                                                    There
were no fewer than seven changes from the last outing in Brazzaville.
Dare Ojo returned in midfield, while Theophilus Afelokhai started in
goal for the first time in the league this season, with Fatau Dauda
suspended.
                                                                                                                                          It
proved a particularly uneventful season debut for Afelokhai though,
with neither side threatening in any concerted fashion in the opening
half. There were, instead, a number of bookings, befitting a very
scrappy affair.
                                                                                                                                      The
second half brought considerably greater urgency from Enyimba, with
forward Wasiu Alalade typically busy. He saw a header saved
impressively by Tornadoes ‘keeper Mustapha Aliko, and another effort
blocked.
                                                                                                                                  Winger
Freedom Omofoman then sent Aliko scurrying past toward his own goal
to paw away a looping header which was on its way in.
                                                                                                                              However,
all that attacking thrust did leave the two-time African champions
occasionally undermanned at the back, and twice Afelokhai was called
into action to make alert stops: the second time to deny Mubarak
Ejiogu, when it looked a certain goal.
                                                                                                                             Tornadoes
would rue that missed opportunity late on as, with two minutes of
added time played, substitute Emeka, making only his second
appearance this season, rose highest to head Sani’s cross into the
bottom corner for the winner.
                                                                                                                                 FINAL:
Enyimba (Emeka Obioma 90+2′) 1-0 Niger Tornadoes
                                                                                                                              Enyimba
Starting XI:
Theophilus Afelokhai, Uche John, Ifeanyi Anaemena,
Nelson Ogbonnaya, Nasiru Sani, Dare Ojo, Austin Oladapo, Stanley
Dimgba (Freedom Omofoman 23′), Abdulrahman Bashir (Emeka Obioma 68′),
Ibrahim Mustapha (Chinonso Okonkwo 59′), Wasiu Alalade.
                                                                                                                                 Unused
Substitutes: Friday Achimugwu, Ernest Governor, Chinedu Udeagha,
Tofic Omar.
                                                                                                                                   Niger
Tornadoes Starting XI:
Mustapha Aliko, Iko James, Reuben
Ogbonnaya, Ibrahim Babawo, Abdulkadir Zango, Austin Igenepo, Yahaya
Yusuf, Mubarak Ejiogu, Bolaji Adeyemo (Bashir Usman 73′), Jonathan
Osondu (Ahmadu Liman 49′), Andrew Ikefe.
                                                                                                                                 Unused
Substitutes: Terka Melai, Jumbo Wisdom, Iliyasu Isyaku, Tanko Awwal,
Abubakr Naqeeb.
                                                                                                                                  Yellow
cards: Uche John, Austin Oladapo, Nasiru Sani (ENY); Mustapha Aliko,
Mubarak Ejiogu (TOR) 

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