Enyimba coach Fatai Osho says some ‘school boy errors’ from his defenders were responsible for his side’s elimination from the CAF Confederation Cup at the quarter-final stage.
The 2-time African champions, on Sunday, forced last season’s finalists Pyramids of Egypt to a 1-1 draw in the second leg of their last 8 tie, bowing out 5-2 on aggregate after losing the first leg 4-1 in Cairo a week earlier.
Centre-back Nelson Ogbonnaya was guilty of some atrocious defending, committing blunders that led to the People’s Elephant conceding two goals in both legs.
Aside Ogbonnaya’s blunders, the entire Enyimba backline was found wanting in Cairo, their errors resulting to three of the four goals they conceded during the first leg, thereby leaving the 8-time Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions with a mountain to climb in the reverse fixture.
And despite dominating proceedings from start to finish in Aba on Sunday, it was the visitors who took the lead when Ibrahim Adel intercepted a pass from Ogbonnaya to coolly lob in on 32 minutes, before Anayo Iwuala levelled scores 8 minutes later.
“The same problem we noticed in the first leg, we started very well in Cairo then a school boy error,” Osho said. “Today (Sunday), it’s almost half field. They were practically not getting to our half, and we gave that goal.
“It’s a simple psychology in football sometimes. When you give away such goals, it kind of tries to weigh down the team. We tried to ensure they don’t err…. and they responded very well.
“But then, it’s a battle we wished to be at the final, and we are out.”
Last season, the former Remo Stars coach also led Enyimba to the quarter-finals of the competition, losing 3-1 on aggregate to Guinean giants Horoya AC.