The two Nigerian representatives in this season’s CAF Confederations Cup Warri wolves and Heartland were only able to record slim victories against their South African and Congolessee opponents in the first leg of the third round ties played on Sunday evening.
While Wolves, who were playing host to Black Leopards were able to record a 3-1 win at the Warri Township Stadium, Heartland on their part struggled to a 3-2 win over AC Leopards at the Dan Ayiam stadium in Owerri.
Both Heartland and Warri Wolves had to come back from a goal down before recording the victories that will serve as a slim advantage going into the second leg in a fortnight.
Amutu Agustine scored a brace before providing an assist for Gift Atulewa to secure the win for Wolves. Top striker Jude Aneke, who was the NPL hotshot with 20 goals last season, was forced out of the game after just 15 minutes following a thigh injury.
Meanwhile, Wolves’ Belgian tactian, Maurice Cooreman is upbeat that the slim advantage from the first leg is enough to see them through to the next round.
While for Heartland who has a more difficult task ahead of them when they travel to Congo Brazaville in a fortnight for the return leg, Carjetan Nwopkara team’s spokesperson feels the Naze Millionaires are still on course.
“It was a tough game for us no doubt but thank God we still won, we know what is expected of us to qualify for the next stage and that will be our focus from now” he said.
Winners of the third round fixture will face losers from the CAF Champions League third round for a place in the group stages of Africa’s second tier club competition.
No Nigerian team has won the Confederation Cup in its present format and both Heartland and Warri Wolves are keen to break the jinx.