Nigerian champions, Enyimba, began their campaign in the CAF Champions’ League group stage yesterday on a losing note to Egyptian giants, Zamalek.
Zamalek defeated the Nigerian club one-nil thanks to Bassem Morsy’s first half goal.
Enyimba head coach, Paul Aigbogun, opted to go for a 4-4-2 formation with leading scorer in the competition, Mfon Udoh and new-signing Ifeanyi Onuigbo, starting up front while Christian Pyagbara played off them.
Zamalek despite missing a handful of their influential players still listed a strong 11 that included Marouf Yousef, Tarek Hamed, Ahmed Tawfik, Kahraba and goalkeeper Ahmed El Shenawy.
The condition at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt was soggy owing to rainfall but the Egyptian club were not moved as Morsy planted in a headed attempt past Theophilus Afelokhaijust eight minutes into the match.
On 21 minutes, Kelly Kester watched as his effort from 25 yards was saved by El Shenawy.
The Peoples Elephant continued to press for that goal to level the game, and three minutes before the break, Joseph Osadiaye created space for himself on the edge of the box but fired over the bar.
It was the turn of Ikechukwu Ibenegbu to try at goal. His free kick just on the stroke of half time went off target by inches.
Enyimba continued the second half in same fashion of pressing high against their opponents. An early chance in the restart was put wide by Onuigbo.
Aigbogun then sent on Stephen Chukwude and Daniel Etor for Onuigbo and Udoh respectively but the Peoples Elephant could not breach the Egyptian champions.
Mamelodi Sundowns and Zamalek have now picked full points on the opening day leaving Enyimba and ES Setif in third and fourth places in Group B.