Just days after returning from international duty with the Super Eagles, goalkeeper John Noble and winger Anayo Iwuala made the starting lineup and impressed as the People’s Elephants got back to winning ways in the continental championship
Skipper Austin Oladapo missed a penalty kick but then scored a beauty to inspire Enyimba FC to a narrow 2-1 win over Algeria’s Es Setif at the Enyimba Stadium in a matchday three clash of the CAF Confederations Cup.
Anayo Iwuala, days after making his Super Eagles debut, impressed alongside goalkeeper John Noble to lead the Elephants to a much-needed victory over the Black Eagles.
Enyimba won their first game of the group stages at home to Libya’s Al Ahli Benghazi but lost on matchday two to South Africa Orlando Pirates and knew only a win against the Algerian outfit could see them reclaim top spot in Group A.
But the visitors, still without a win after two matches, had other plans and took a surprise lead through Monsef Bakrar in the 13th minute.
Moments later, Enyimba’s skipper Oladapo had the chance to draw his side level from the spot, but he missed his kick.
Fatai Osho’s men then fluffed two huge opportunities to punish the visitors. First, Ogbonnaya could only direct his header against the upright when well placed before striker Omoyele over hit the ball when a brilliant Iwuala cross found him in the area.
Oladapo, however, made amends five minutes from the break when he received a simple pass from Dayo Ojo Solomon to send an unstoppable long-range effort into the back of the net for the home side’s equaliser.
It was the 25-year-old’s third consecutive goal of the CAFCC campaign, having scored in the 2-1 defeat of Al Ahli and the 2-1 loss to Orlando Pirates.
Despite the equaliser, the Aba Elephants refused to take the foot off the gas, with Oladapo once again shooting over after Obi’s initial strike was repelled by the opposing keeper just after the interval.
And moments after, Ojo headed wide from another decent chance. However, Tosin Omoyele handed Enyimba the lead for the first time in the game, following excellent work from two-cap Nigeria international Iwuala.
The win lifts Enyimba back to the top of Group A with six points, and the two-time African champions will remain at the summit should Orlando Pirates fail to pick maximum points later today in Libya against Al Ahli.