Al-Merrikh 3-0 Enyimba: Saif Terry’s hat-trick won over People’s Elephant

The people of Fatai Osha are fighting hard for a place in the group stage of the championship

Enyimba suffered a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Al Merrich in the first round, in the first round of the Champions League 2020-21 Caf.

Saif Terry’s treble was all the Sudanese giants needed to get past the Nigerians.

Entering the clash on Wednesday, the People’s Elephant, who defeated Rahim of Burkina Faso over two legs, bowed 1-0 to local rival Ifeanyi Ubah FC in their preliminaries match. However, they traveled to Khartoum’s Al-Merrikh Stadium in Omdurman with high hopes. However, it was their hosts who triumphed at the end of 90 minutes.

In a sharply contested affair, Terry gave the hosts the lead just seven minutes after controlling a long pass from fullback Ahmed Adam before beating goalkeeper Bassu Deri and squeezing out two of his markers.

The goal was an eye opening for the Nigerians who subsequently dominated possession of the ball but were poor in the final third.

Terry doubled his team’s lead with a minute break at halftime, taking advantage of a counter-conception devised by Bakri Al-Madina.

Fatai Osh’s team came out stronger in the second half, although they failed to break through Al-Merrikh’s well-organized background.

Even with the introduction of Abiodun Adebay for Nabil Yaro and Tosin Omoiel for Samson Obi, they failed to get past goalkeeper Munjid Al-Neel who was rarely tested.

The Red Devils sealed the win in the 90th minute as Terry completed his high pitch and sent Enyimba home with his head bowed.

With this result, Osh’s team must beat Didier Gomes Da Rosa with four unanswered goals in a rematch that Abi charged in 2021 to have a chance to advance to the group stage. If they fail to do so, they are demoted to the Caf Confederation Cup.

In the previous decade, Enyimba enjoyed success on the continent after defeating Egyptian Ismaily who became the first Nigerian team to win the Caf Champions League before continuing to defend the title next year.

Since then, Nigeria’s eight-time champions in the professional football league have failed to make an impression on the continent.