The peoples’ elephants, Enyimba United of Aba on Sunday defeated their visitors, ES Setif of Algeria, two goals to one in CAF Confederations Cup.
Fatai Osho’s men claimed an important home victory despite conceding first in their home soil, Aba against the Algerian Ligue Professionnelle 1 outfit
With the defeat, ES Setif suffered their third Caf Confederation Cup defeat of the campaign in Sunday’s Group A clash.
However, the People’s Elephants were outthought and outfought for 45 minutes at their Enyimba International Stadium before an impressive second-half display handed them all points at the expense of their Algerian foes.
Buoyed by their 1-0 triumph over Dakkada FC in their last outing in the Nigeria Professional Football League, Osho’s team started the match on a bright note by keeping Nabil Kouki’s men in their own half.
Nevertheless, it was the North Africans who opened the scoring after 13 minutes through Monsef Bakrar. The 20-year-old profited from his team’s well-organised interplay to fire the ball past Nigeria international John Noble.
Five minutes later, the Nigerians were provided with a big chance to level matters when they were awarded a penalty by Djiboutian referee Souleiman Ahmed Djama.
Captain Austin Oladapo stepped up to take the ensuing kick, but it was saved by goalkeeper Sofiane Khedairia. The miss added to their frustration, as they repeatedly dismantled the ES Setif backline without success.
Five minutes before the end of the first half, Enyimba levelled matters through Oladapo, who made amends for his earlier penalty miss.
They came close to taking the lead in the 44th minute but goalkeeper Khedairia was at alert to save a tricky Samad Kadiri shot.
Both teams were much improved following the restart for the second half, but still scarcely threatened until Tosin Omoyele’s sublime strike sealed the win on the hour mark, after he profited from an assist from Anayo Iwuala.
ES Setif did not take their give up but were denied by a series of saves from Noble, including impressive stops from shots from Bekrar, Ahmed Kendouci and Mohamed El Amine Amoura.
Thanks to this win, Enyimba stay atop Group A with six points from three matches, while ES Setif occupy the base of Group A with just one point.
The two-time African kings are guests of the Algerians in the reverse fixture billed for April 11.