Cyril Olisema scored a dramatic late goal to put Enyimba through to the quarterfinals of the Confederation Cup with a 1-0 victory over Orlando Pirates in their last group game in Aba on Wednesday.
Needing a win to progress to the quarterfinals, the Aba Elephants failed to create much of note against the visiting South Africans and it appeared their campaign would end in the most tepid fashion.
With time running out, Fatai Osho’s side were seconds away from being eliminated before Olisema scored in the fifth-minute of added time to upturn the permutations in Group A.
Olisema’s last-gasp effort catapulted the two-time African champions from bottom to top, displacing leaders Pirates in the process and rendering ES Setif’s 1-0 win against Al Ahli Benghazi in the group’s other game which held simultaneously completely useless.
The dramatic win meant Osho’s side topped Group A with nine points, edging Pirates on head-to-head. Setif finished in third on eight points while Al Ahli Benghazi propped up the table with seven points.
The Aba Elephants will discover their last-16 opponents when the draws are held on Friday, 30 April.
The win apart from possibly saving Osho’s job, ensures a Nigerian club remains in continental competition, and maintains Enyimba’s quest to be the first club from Nigeria to win the Confederation Cup.