Enyimba stunned at home by AS Real
- By: Farriel Allaputa
- Date: 2 March 2014
Enyimba's CAF Champions League campaign has been dealt a major blow following Sunday's 1-2 home defeat to AS Real de Bamako in their first round, first leg tie.
It is the team's first home defeat in the competition since their one nil loss to Egypt's Al Ahly in 2005.
The Malians came from behind to snatch an unlikely win after Sibi Gwar had fired Enyimba in front on the stroke of half time with a glancing header.
A surge forward in the second half by The Elephants to double their lead provided the opportunity AS Real needed to draw level. Minutes after the hour mark, Moctar Cisse raced into the box to head past Femi Thomas and silence the home crowd.
The goal knocked the wind out of the two-time winners and their attempts to get the much needed second goal grew frantic. Goalscorer Sibi Gwar was replaced by Bashir Abdulrahman but the change in personnel did not change the scoreline positively for Enyimba. Instead, they were punished for some poor defending in the 76th minute when an unmarked Amaddu Samake flicked Ibourahima Sidibe's corner kick into the net.
It was a moment that underlined the goal-scoring threat the Malians had posed all afternoon but somehow unheeded by Enyimba.
Zachary Baraje's men, boisterous and in control of the match for long spells were stunned and despite throwing everything they had at the visitors, did not get back into the game. The momentum had shifted and AS Real in those final moments remained at the top of their game with Mohamed Camara, their towering 6'7 center-half heading clear all crosses into their penalty area.
Enyimba will rue the opportunities they wasted in Sunday's game as they prepare to make the long trip to Bamako, Mali where they will need a 2-0 victory to advance.
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