John Noble was the hero as the people’s Elephant, Enyimba International of Aba have qualified for the group stage of the Caf Confederation Cup after beating Rivers United through penalties in the second leg of the Round 32 clash. Enyimba won 5-4 on penalties to go through.
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The first leg played in Aba ended one nill in favour of the side. Cyril Olisema‘s 60th-minute goal was all Enyimba needed to take the tie, despite Tosin Omoyele’s 75th-minute red card.
The second was always going to be a keenly contested affair and it lived to its billing. On a discouraging surface housed by a beautiful arena, Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Rivers United and Enyimba put everything out on the pitch, except the kitchen sink.
The opener came in the 42nd minute from Fortune Ominiwari. A terrific attacking run from Malachi Ohawume and a rather weak effort from him which was saved by Enyimba goalkeeper, Noble, but Fortune was on hand to tuck in the rebound. However, this was not enough to see the ‘Pride of Rivers’ through to the group stage as they needed at least two un-replied goals to progress to the next round.
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The game dragged on to the 90th minute with both teams giving everything they brought to the party.
It took the unfavourable lottery of penalties to decide the tie. After five penalties apiece and both teams losing one each(Cyril Olisema for Enyimba and Odunlami for River United) it ended 4-4 and the affair stretched on to the ‘Russian Roulette where Isreal Emmanuel missed for River United and Enyimba goalkeeper decided the tie by scoring the final penalty. 5-4 it ended in favour of the Fatai Osho led side.
Dim light 🚥
— Enyimba FC (@EnyimbaFC) February 21, 2021
With this result, Enyimba becomes Nigeria’s sole representative on the continent. They now await the draws for the group stage.
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