A first half goal and four more in the second were all it took for Enyimba Football Club to overturn a first leg loss and advance to the first round of the CAF Champions League with a 5-0 win against Rahimo FC at the Enyimba Stadium this evening.
Having lost 0-1 in the first leg in Ougadougou a fortnight ago, the People’s Elephant required a two-goal margin win but got much more as Reuben Bala and Stanley Dimgba’s braces added to Stanley Okorom’s first ever Enyimba goal to give the two times champions a commanding 5-1 aggregate win.
The visitors started on an unimaginably wrong foot as striker Issouf Zanon was given the marching order after just ten minutes when he plunged his studs into Emmanuel Ampiah’s hips.
Enyimba capitalised and completely bossed proceedings with the exciting Chukwuka Onuwa at the root of most moves.
The hosts appeared to have found their opener when Dimgba’s gorgeous curler from the right went into the top corner, but the flag was up to rule out for offside.
Enyimba’s dominance eventually paid off after the half hour as Reuben Bala cleverly slotted a low freekick beyond the goalkeeper into the far right to give Usman Abd’Allah’s men the lead going into the break.
Okorom was brought on at the restart for Ampiah who was still struggling from the impact of Zanon’s early challenge, and it took the substitute only ninety seconds to double Enyimba’s lead as he fired into the top left corner with an effort from outside the box.
The scoreline would be enough to send Enyimba to the next round but three goals came inside the last ten minutes to add gloss to the win.
Stanley Dimgba capitalised on a poor clearance to slot into the far right for Enyimba’s third, before Bala bagged his brace with another freekick.
Dimgba wrapped up scoring on the dot of of regulation time with a simple tap in following Okorom’s cross from the right.
Enyimba will face Sudanese side Al Hilal in the next round with the first leg holding in Aba in mid September.
ENYIMBA’S LINE UP
Andrew Abalogu, Emmanuel Ampiah (Stanley Okorom 46′), Nelson Ogbonnaya, Adebayo Abiodun
Dare Olatunji, Cyril Olisema, Chukwuka Onuwa (Jean-Marie Guera 84′), Stanley Dimgba
Reuben Bala, Samson Obi (Bashir Abdulrahaman 65′)
Stanley Nwabali, Ifeanyi Anaemena, Emeka Atuloma, Victor Mbaoma
“I am very relieved because you’ve seen the boys were very prepared because we worked very hard even though it wasn’t easy.
“I think we should continue this work that we’ve been doing because we can see the profit in it. So the boys have to be super, super fit; that is the only way we can execute our own plans.
“It’s one of the stressful matches I’ve had because having seen the match over there (in Ouagadougou), we were very lucky because it would have been tougher around here.
“So the good thing is we saw the team, we came back and worked on our weaknesses and finally you can see the job is done clean. We are happy.
“I think we still have work to do, we still have a lot. We can’t be perfect. Every time we have to work”