Enyimba walk the narrow rope with defeat in Sudan


* Rivers Utd beat S’Africin Bloemfontein Celtic away

ABAH Duro Ikhazuagbe

The poor state of domestic club football in the country was highlighted 3-0 when Enyimba FC hit Sudan Al Merriekh on Wednesday afternoon in Omdurman.

The first game was the last hurdle for Enyimba to reach the group stage of the CAF Champions League this year.

If the People’s Elephant fails in the reverse schedule at Abi next week, it will be the second year in a row that any Nigerian club team cannot reach the lucrative group stage of the continent’s highest club competition.

Since the Nigerian topflight league has not stopped since March, most of the club clubs in the country are idle and rusty.

Saif Terry was the enemy of the two-time African champions yesterday as he packed all three goals for El Merriekh in the first round at Al Hilal Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

Terry scored in the sixth, 44th and 90th minutes to make the ball of the day smile.

All attempts by Enyimba coach Fatai Osho to at least reduce the overall amounts did not yield any dividends. The introduction of duo Nabil Yarou and Tosin Omoiel after the interval did not have much impact on the game, but the goals just refused to come to an end in the 90th minute.

If Enyimba fails to cancel the three-goal deficit, they will go down to the CAF Confederations Cup second division to join Rivers United who went to South Africa last night and took a 2-0 victory against Bloemfontein Celtic.

Pride of Rivers State redeemed the day for Nigeria despite three of their players being disqualified from the game. South African authorities testing the Nigerian delegation announced that the three Rivers United players had Covid-19s and were not allowed to be part of the match.

Port Harcourt team officials disputed that claim, insisting that all players and officials had been tested negative before leaving Nigeria for South Africa.