Nigeria’s representatives in the first leg preliminary round of the CAF Champions League on Sunday night, Enyimba FC and Remo Stars, suffered narrow defeats in their respective away games and must win the second leg games to stand the chances of advancing to the group stage of the competition.
Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions, Enyimba, fell to a 4-3 defeat against Al Ahli Benghazi of Libya in Tripoli.
Chijoke Mbaoma gave Enyimba the lead in the fourth minute of the game, but the hosts equalised five minutes later.
The two-time African champions were let down by poor defensive lapses as Imo Obot scored an own goal three minutes before the break to hand Al Ahly the lead for the first time in the game.
However, Eze Ekwutoziam levelled for the ‘People’s Elephant’ a minute before the hour mark, but Al Ahli restored their lead in the 75th minute.
Enyimba fought back again with substitute Murphy Ndukwu slotting home from close range five minutes from time to make it 3-3.
However, Al Ahly Benghazi netted the winning goal deep into stoppage time to run away with all the three points.
Both teams will lock horns again in the second leg in Uyo next weekend, and the winner over the two legs will progress to the next round.
Meanwhile, Remo Stars lost 1-0 to Medeama SC of Ghana in the first leg of the CAF Champions League preliminary round fixture at the Cape Coast Stadium in Ghana on Sunday.
The home team took the lead through Jonathan Sowah in the 21st minute of the encounter.
Daniel Ogunmodede’s side will need to score two unreplied goals in the second leg to progress to the next round.
The second leg will go down at the Remo Stars Stadium in Ikenne on Sunday, August 28.
Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.