Two-time African champions Enyimba on Wednesday qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup after beating CARA Brazzaville 1-0 in an explosive tie at the new Enyimba Stadium, Aba.
Substitute Wasiu Alalade scored the lone goal to give the People’s Elephant all three points in a match which the visitors defended for 90 minutes.
Enyimba finished top of Group C with 12 points while CARA finished second with nine points. Williamsville AC of Ivory Coast finished third with eight points after their goalless draw with bottom-placed Malian club Djoliba on Wednesday.
The Nigerian side play Group D runners-up Rayon Sports of Rwanda in the quarter-finals with the first leg coming up on September 14. CARA play USM Alger, who won Group D with 11 points.
Coach Usman Abdallah retained the starting line-up from the 1-0 win over Djoliba in Bamako with Theophilus Afelokhai in goal, Andrew Abalogu, Ikouwem Udoh, Ifeanyi Anaemena and Isiaka Oladuntoye in the defence while Farouk Mohammed, Austin Oladapo and Bashir Abdulrahman were in the midfield. Captain Mfon Udoh, Sunday Adetunji and Stanley Dimgba played in attack.
The Nigerians dominated the match from the first minute and in the fifth minute, CARA goalkeeper Chancel Massa was called to action after Mfon Udoh fired a tame shot at goal.
In the 16th minute, left-back Ikouwem Udoh got another chance but his effort was gathered by Massa after initially spilling the shot.
Enyimba kept pressing the visitors as they searched for the opening goal and in the 22nd minute Mohammed’s free-kick failed to break the deadlock after he curved it away from Massa’s goal.