Nigeriaâ€™s lone survival in continental club competition, Enyimba FC of Aba, moved to top of Group C of the CAF Confederation yesterday with a narrow 1-0 win over visiting Williamsville Athletic Club of CÃ´te dâ€™ Ivoire.
It was the second consecutive win by the Nigerian side and the result sees the Aba team go top of the log on six points, though CARA Brazzaville could supplant them later tonight if they defeat Djoliba in Bamako. The Ivorian challengers WAC drop to second on four points.
Enyimba claimed the lead as early as the seventh minute, as Ibrahim Mustapha showed great speed, power and composure to race clear of the defence before calmly sending a low shot past the goalkeeper.
Williamsville almost replied midway through the first half as Irie Zan Bi sent a header on target and the ball took a nasty bounce off the churned turf in the penalty area â€“ goalkeeper Fatau Dauda had to react sharply to tip it over the bar.
Just past the half hour mark the visitors blew a great chance to draw level: a cross from the right picked out Folorunsho Sesan, who got up high and sent a downward header toward goal, but was unlucky to see the ball bounce just wide of the mark.
WAC remained the better team through to halftime, but were unable to find an equaliser, while Enyimba suffered an injury blow to Ibenegbu Bartholomew, who was replaced by Chinedu Udeagha.
The second half saw the Peopleâ€™s Elephant put in a more controlled display, though they were unable to find a second goal to truly put the game to bed, while the Ivorians struggled to make headway in attack against the excellent duo of Akabueze John and Nelson Ogbonnaya.
Enyimba (1) 1 (Mustapha 7â€™)
Enyimba: Dauda, Utin, John, Ogbonnaya, Ojo, Oladapo, Bartholomew (Udeagha 45+1â€™), Mohammed, Joseph (Chekwube 82â€™), Mustapha, Bashir (Freedom 49â€™)
Williamsville: Mandjui, Gbe, Yao, Dagrou (Mofosse 71â€™), Ettien, Kouassi Kouakou (Ouffoue 67â€™), Kouassi, Sesan (Ben 57â€™), Zan Bi, Kouadio Kouakou, Yameogo