It was different tales for Nigeria’s representatives on the continent on Wednesday, after Rivers United defeated South African side Bloemfontein Celtic 2-0 away in their first round, first leg encounter on Wednesday, while Enyimba were beaten 3-0 in Sudan by Al-Merreikh in their CAF Champions League preliminary tie.
Godwin Aguda put Rivers in front in the 70th minute, while Fortune Omoniwari put the game beyond the hosts with an 80th minute strike to hand the Nigerians a comfortable lead going into the second leg in Port Harcourt in a fortnight.
A win in the second leg for the Pride of Rivers on January 6 at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium will see them qualify for the playoffs phase of the competition.
Meanwhile, Enyimba are walking a tight rope after losing 3-0 to Sudanese giants, Al-Merriekh, in the first round, first leg match of the CAF Champions League at the Al-Hilal Stadium, Omdurman on Wednesday.
Saif Terry scored a hat-trick in the 8th, 44th and 90th minutes to hand the Sudanese champions a comfortable lead ahead of the second leg in Aba on January 5.
The goal takes the Al-Merriekh striker’s tally to four in three Champions League outings.
Fatai Osho’s men rarely threatened their opponents in the encounter, and will now need to score four unreplied goals in the return leg at home to book a spot in the lucrative group phase of the competition.
Failure to beat the Sudanese, however, will see the two-time African champions drop to the play-offs phase of the CAF Confederation Cup.