Nigeria’s sole CAF Champions League representatives Enyimba have been left with a mountain to climb to remain in the competition after a 3-0 loss at Al Merrikh in the first round.
The first leg, first round tie was played at the home ground of Merrikh’s rivals Al Hilal as their Red Palace stadium was closed for renovation but it made little difference to the hosts who raced into a two-goal lead in the first half.
Saif Terry scored an early opener and added a second before half time as Al Merrikh ran roughshod over the two-time champions.
Terry completed his hat-trick after the interval to leave Merrikh in a strong position to make the group stage of CAF’s premier club competition ahead of the return in Aba in a fortnight.
For Enyimba, it is déjà vu once again, having fallen to Sudanese opposition at this exact stage last season when they lost to Al Hilal on aggregate.
The Nigerians face a daunting task to overturn the three-goal deficit when Al Merrikh visit Aba in January.