Completesportsnigeria.com’s ADEBOYE AMOSU lists Enyimba’s clashes against North African clubs as the Nigerian champions face Etoile du Sahel in the last hurdle to the CAF Champions League group phase…
ISMAILY (EGYPT) AND USM ALGIERS HURDLES IN 2003
The Peoples Elephant won their maiden CAF Champions League title in 2003, but it wasn’t a roller coaster ride.
After opening their campaign in the group stage of the competition with a 3-0 home victory against Tanzanian side, Simba FC, they were completely pulverised 6-1 by Ismaily of Egypt in their next game.
The Aba-based side defeated the same opponents 4-2 in the return fixture in Aba.
They also defeated another North African side, USM Algiers of Algeria, in the last four.
The first leg in Algiers ended in a 1-1 draw, while Enyimba won the reverse tie 2-1 at the Enyimba Sports Stadium to zoom into final.
Enyimba went up against Ismaily again in the final and won 2-1 on aggregate.
They won the first leg at home 2-0, but lost 1-0 in the return leg. The result was enough to see Enyimba win a first African title.
TUNISIA CHALLENGE OF 2004
Like in 2003, Enyimba had to contend with a North African team in the group stage of the CAF Champions League. This time around, it was Tunisian side, Etoile du Sahel.
The Sousse- based side won the first game on August 7, 2004 at the Olympic Stadium 1-0 with Nigerian forward Emeka Opara getting the goal.
Enyimba failed to avenge that loss in the return leg as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Etoile.
The Nigerian champions however edged out another Tunisian outfit, Esperance, in the sem8-finals. Both legs ended in 1-1 draws, with Enyimba progressing into the final after winning the tie on penalties.
Standing between them and a second African title were Etoile du Sahel. Enyimba lost 2-1 in the first leg and won the reverse fixture by the same scoreline.
Enyimba, who were then coached by Okey Emordi, then triumphed 5-4 on penalties.
CLUB AFRICAIN, AL AHLY 2008
Enyimba’s first meeting against a North African opposition in the 2008 edition of the CAF Champions League was in the second round against Club of Africain of Tunisia.
The Peoples Elephant won 6-3 on aggregate. They defeated Club Africain 5-1 at home and lost the return leg 2-1.
They were however unlucky as they got knocked out by Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the last four.
The first leg in Aba ended in a barren draw, while Ahly edged out Enyimba 1-0 in the second leg in Cairo to progress to the final on a 1-0 aggregate scoreline.
MOROCCO BATTLE, 2011
Enyimba escaped unscathed against Raja Casablanca in the group stage, winning their home fixture and picking a draw in Morocco.
It was however Raja’s local rivals, Wydad Casablanca, that sent Enyimba packing from the competition in the last four.
WAC won the first leg 1-0 in Casablanca and held Enyimba to a goalless draw in the second leg in Aba.
The little known Egyptian side bundled out Enyimba in the second round of the CAF Champions League last year.
The first leg in Aba ended 1-0 in favour of Enyimba with Cameroonian forward, Raphel Boumsong, getting the only goal.
Smouha however turned the result around in the second leg, winning 2-0.