Champions league: Enyimba lose again





Enyimba have lost their second match of the group stages of the CAF Champions League after they were beaten 2-1 by Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday.

The match, which was played at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, Pretoria, was the second consecutive loss for Enyimba in Group B after their 1-0 loss to Zamalek on the opening day of the group matches.

The Nigeria champions are now walking the tightrope to qualification from the three-team group as they sit third with no point from two matches. Sundowns are topping the group with three points same as second-placed Zamalek. Group B now has three teams following CAF’s ban of Algerian side, ES Setif, for violence from their fans in their 2-0 loss to Sundowns.

Goals from Leonardo Castro and Wayne Arendse gave Sundowns the win despite a consolatory goal from Dare Ojo.

Coach Paul Aigbogun named a strong side for the match making three changes to the team which lost 1-0 to Zamalek in Port Harcourt. Christian Pyagbara started in the attack in place of the competition’s highest goalscorer, Mfon Udoh. Moses Ocheje started in goal in place of Theophilus Afelokhai while Etor Daniel replaced Joseph Osadiaye in the midfield.

Enyimba started the match brightly pressing the hosts back in their half but Sundowns contained the attack of the visitors while hitting them on the counter. However, the game became an end to end affair as the first half wore on with both sides creating scoring chances.

Sundowns broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute when Castro capitalised on a defensive error in the Enyimba area. Captain Chinedu Udoji’s clearance from a cross hit the back of another Enyimba player and fell to the Sundown’s striker who stroked it past Ocheje in Enyimba goal.

The Peoples Elephant started chasing the game in the second half but their efforts were thwarted till the 58th minute when Ojo shot a cracker from 25 yards after Sundowns failed to deal effectively with a corner kick.

Sundowns retook the lead in the 77th minute through Arendse after Ocheje couldn’t keep his shot out and allowed it cross the line.

Enyimba will play their next game on August 14 when they go away to Zamalek in Egypt.

Aigbogun praised his players after the match, saying the team has yet to give up on qualification for the semifinals.

“It was a great game today and the boys played to instruction but we could have done better without those goals we conceded,” he told SuperSport.

“We will go back home and plan for the remaining matches. Being three in the group and losing two opening games makes it harder to qualify but we have not lost all hope as we will take the remaining games more seriously.”


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