Enyimba arrived in Aba on Tuesday evening after their ouster from the 2019 CAF Champions League following a 1-0 defeat by Al Hilal of Sudan in Omdurman on Sunday with centre-back Ifeanyi Anaemena admitting they actually lost the Second Preliminary Round ties in Aba, Completesports.com reports.
The two-time African champions played out a shock scoreless draw with the 10-man Sudanese side two weeks ago, a situation that put the Nigerian champions in a precarious position going into the crunchy return leg in Omdurman.
And a second half goal by the home side in Omdurman ensured Enyimba failed to reach the lucrative stage of the 2019/2020 Africa premier flagship inter club competition on a 1-0 aggregate.
“Truth is that we lost the game in Aba during the first leg,” the towering stopper told Completesports.com in a pensive tone.
“We could not score despite our obvious domination of the game. And because we could not take advantage of being the side to score. Al Hilal did everything they could, including officiating to win.”
Anaemena told Enyimba’s fans and supporters that their CAF Champions League exit at this preliminary stage was unfortunate and a bitter pill to swallow.
“We set out to win and make it to the group stage but that was not to be. Its unfortunate,” Anaemena regretted .
“There are lots of things that happen in the game of football and we saw a part of it in Sudan.
“Anyway, that belongs to the past now. We are shifting focus now to the confederation cup where we will have to play one more game before the group stage.”
Enyimba will now drop down to the CAF Confederation Cup following their elimination from the Champions League.
Nigeria representatives in the CAF second tier interclub competition, Enyimba and Rangers will know their final qualifying opponents before the group stage on October 9 when CAF will conduct the draws in Cairo, Egypt.
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