Enyimba International have dropped out of the CAF Champions League despite registering a 2-1 victory over Sudanese club, Al Merrikh, in their playoff second-round tie on Wednesday
After losing the first leg 3-0 in Omdurman, Enyimba needed the best possible start in Wednesday’s return leg in Aba but it was the visiting Sudanese team that scored first as Seif Terry shot the visitors into the lead barely five minutes into the game.
The early goal conceded by the People’s Elephant made their already difficult position even tougher as it now meant they needed to score five un-replied goals to be able to navigate past their opponents.
Coach Osho Fatai’s men did pull level 10 minutes after as Victor Mbaoma restored parity in the 14th minute.
Enyimba, who were the only Nigerian team remaining in the Champions League, continued to pile pressure against Al Merrikh but were unsuccessful as the first half ended even at 1-1.
Aware of the big hurdle they still needed to surmount, Enyimba came rampaging in the second half and their early pressure paid off as they were awarded a penalty and Mbaoma was on hand to convert yet again in the 51st minute.
Hard as they tried, Enyimba were unable to get an extra goal let alone the three they required to progress into the lucrative money-spinning group stage.
FT | A win today but not enough to see us through to the group stage
| 2-1 |#EFCMER
— Enyimba FC (@EnyimbaFC) January 6, 2021
This effectively meant the end of the road in the Champions League for Enyimba and now the two-time African champions will have to seek redemption in the lesser-fancied CAF Confederation Cup.
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