Nigeria Premier Football League champions, Enyimba, had to settle for a 0-0 draw against Al-Hilal of Sudan at the Enyimba Stadium, Aba in the first leg of their first-round tie of the CAF Champions League on Sunday, September 15, 2019.
Despite the host being handed a boost in the 20th minute after Al-Hilal’s Bazar Hamid Nassir saw red for an off the ball incident, the People’s Elephant found it difficult to break through the visitors defense. The Nigerian League giants welcomed back fans into the stadium after playing their last match behind closed doors. Though Enyimba pressured their Sudanese opponents from start to finish, the visitors maintained a tight back line.
Enyimba’s Nelson Ogbonnaya missed the first chance of the game in the fourth minute after side netting a header from a perfect cross by Stanley Okorom. In a first half dominated by the host, Austin Oladapo, Reuben Bala, and Okorom all had good chances to gift Enyimba the lead but the North African side put up stiff resistance to prevent the West African giants from taking the lead.
The second half saw Enyimba continue their domination, but despite the introduction of Bashir Abdulrahaman, Martins Usule and Cyril Olisema, the two-time African champions were unable to break the deadlock.With this result, the Aba-based club will be hoping for better luck in a fortnight when they travel to Ombudsman, Sudan, for the second-leg of the encounter.
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