CAFCL: Enyimba See Off Rahimo To Reach First Round

Enyimba supporters celebrate Federation Cup victory at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on November 23, 2014. Two-time African champions Enyimba on Sunday retained the Nigeria FA Cup after beating Dolphins 2-1 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos. It was Enyimba's fourth cup triumph after they also won in 2005, 2009 and 2013. However, the Aba club will represent Nigeria in next year's CAF Champions League after they finished as runners-up in the league, while beaten finalists Dolphins will feature in the CAF Confederation Cup. AFP PHOTO/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

Enyimba are through to the CAF Champions League first qualifying round after a 1-1 draw with Rahimo in Aba confirmed a 2-1 aggregate win in the preliminary round.

Austin Oladapo put the Aba Elephants in the lead just after the hour mark but Pape Sibo Ware drew the hosts level in the 75th minute to set up a nervy finish.

Fatai Osho’s side were then reduced to ten men after Imo Obot was shown a red for a bad tackle in added time but the two-time Champions League winners held on to progress to the next round as Victor Mbaoma’s goal in the first leg proved decisive.

The win restored some pride for Nigeria after Kano Pillars and Plateau United were dumped out of the Confederation Cup and Champions League respectively on Saturday.

Enyimba have now dispatched the Burkinabes at the same stage in successive years but unlike last season when they inflicted a 5-0 drubbing on Rahimo after a 1-0 first leg loss, the eight-time Nigerian champions found goals a little bit harder to come by on Sunday.

They will however be relieved to have sealed a spot in the next round where they will face Sudanese giants El Merreikh for a place in the group stages of the competition they won in 2003 and 2004.