Enyimba beat Rahimo 1-0 in the first leg of their CAF Champions League preliminary round match at Stade du 4 Aout on Sunday.
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A solitary strike from Victor Mbaoma in the second half was all Fatai Osho’s men required to gain a massive first-leg advantage away from home against their Burkinabe hosts in Ouagadougou.
Having lost 1-0 on their last visit to Burkina Faso in 2019, the People’s Elephant, who eventually advanced 5-1 on aggregate at the same stage, were eager to celebrate an away win this time.
On the other hand, the Burkinabe champions were desperate to avenge last season’s elimination and also profit from their league form against their inactive Nigerian opponents.
Enyimba almost got an early lead in the opening 60 seconds but Stephen Manyo’s cross from the edge of the box went to waste as his teammates were not in the area for a tap-in.
Sadiq Abubakar came close for the visitors but his strike went marginally over the crossbar in the seventh minute as teams remained cautious defensively to end the first half on level terms.
The People’s Elephant continued their search for a crucial away goal in the second half as Tosin Omoyele created space before teeing up Abubakar, but his shot went wide in the 52nd minute.
On the hour mark, manager Osho brought on Mbaoma as a replacement for ineffective Tosin Omoyele to boost his attacking line.
In the final stages, the hosts put up a strong fight but Osho’s men held their nerve to secure a crucial away victory.Super-sub Mbaoma justified his introduction as he outjumped his marker to head in a corner kick from Anayo Iwuala and put the visitors in front 16 minutes later.
After their first-leg win in Ouagadougou, the Nigerian giants will focus on ensuring a double over their Burkinabe counterparts in the second leg at the Enyimba Stadium in Aba on December 6.