Enyimba played a disappointing 0-0 draw with 10-man Al Hilal of Sudan in Sunday’s CAF Champions League Second Preliminary Round first leg clash in Aba.
The People’s Elephant were dominant all through the duration but lacked the cutting edge in the final third to put the game to bed.
Enyimba fired an early warning to Hilal when Nelson Ogbonnaya planted his headed effort from Stanley Okorom’s free kick into the side netting. That was just five minutes after the start.
The hosts again came close to breaking the deadlock two minutes later when Okorom hit the side netting from a free kick, before Ghana import, Daniel Darkwa was denied a scoring chance by Abuaagla Abdala.
On the quarter hour mark, Stanley Okorom stung the gloves of Hilal goalkeeper, Salim Macoola with a rising strike from distance.
Five minutes later, Al Hilal were reduced to 10 men with Nazar Named Nassr given a red card for violent conduct. The defender had stepped on Enyimba defender, Daniel Darkwa, to draw the anger of the match official.
With the numerical advantage, Enyimba patiently worked and waited for the breakthrough as they encamped in their opponent’s territory leaving goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai on holidays.
For the first time in this opening half, Hilal sneaked behind Enyimba back line with Barnet Named getting to the byline but his left foot effort was easily gathered by Afelokhai.
Perhaps, the best chance of the half fell on Dimgba who found his way into the crowded Hilal box. He twisted all defenders who virtually got fixed on a spot but his shot towards the far post went wide to the consternation of the packed stands that included governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
The restart followed same pattern as the first with Enyimba in ‘total’ control but unable to break down Hilal’s organised defence.
Stanley Dimgba fired a ferocious shot from the edge of the box but Macoola went down early enough to gather as the game petered out to a draw.