Enyimba dealt Champions League blow by Zamalek ‎


Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions, Enyimba FC, began their CAF Champions League group phase campaign on a sour note – slipping 0-1 on Sunday to Zamalek of Egypt.

The two-time African champions crashed in Port Harcourt to the visiting Egyptian giants who have conquered the continent three more times than their hosts.

Bassem Morsy’s first half strike was enough for the Cairo based side to snatch all three points on the road.

Despite missing a handful of their influential players, Mohammed Helmy still listed a strong 11 that included Marouf Yousef, Tarek Hamed, Ahmed Tawfik, Kahraba and goalkeeper Ahmed El Shenawy.

Enyimba on the hand fielded an attacking minded formation with leading scorer in the competition, Mfon Udoh, and new-signing, Ifeanyi Onuigbo, starting up front while Christian Pyagbara played off them.

The condition at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium was dodgy owing to rainfall but the Egyptian club were not moved as Morsy planted in a headed attempt past Theophilus Afelokhai just eight minutes into the match.

On 21 minutes, Kelly Kester watched as his effort from 25 yards was saved by El Shenawy.

The Peoples’ Elephants continued to press for that goal to level the game, and three minutes before the break, Joseph Osadiaye created space for himself on the edge of the box but fired over the bar.

It was the turn of Ikechukwu Ibenegbu to try at goal. His free kick just on the stroke of half time went off target by inches.

Enyimba continued the second half in the same fashion of pressing high against their opponents.

An early chance in the restart was put wide by Onuigbo.

Coach Paul Aigbogun then sent on Stephen Chukwude and Daniel Etor for Onuigbo and Udoh respectively but the hosts could not breach the Egyptian champions.

Mamelodi Sundowns and Zamalek have now picked full points on the opening day leaving Enyimba and ES Setif in third and fourth places in Group B.