The country’s flagbearers on continent advanced to the first round of Caf competitions on Saturday with the exception of Enyimba who play Buffles de Borgou on Sunday (today), Goal reports.
Warri Wolves 3-0 RC Bobo Diuolasso
The Seasiders made a mincemeat of their opponents from Burkina Faso after they thumped them 3-0 in Warri for an easy win in front of their fans at the Warri City Stadium in the return leg of the Caf Confederation Cup preliminary round fixture played on Saturday.
Warri Wolves have thus qualified for the first round of the competition in awesome style and they have now set up a tie with Dedebit of Ethiopia who also demolished Cote d’Or of Seychelles 5-2 on aggregate to cruise through.
The Seasiders led at halftime 1-0 with the only goal converted by Oghenekaro Etebo before they added two more in the second half through Joseph Osadaiye and Freedom Omofoman in a goal laden match to confirm their intention of not playing any second fiddle this term in the second tier African club competition.
Warri Wolves will have the onerous task of hosting the East African first on the weekend of March 13-15 before the return leg in Addis Ababa on the weekend of April 3-5.
Dolphins 1-1 Leones Vegetarianos: (Dolphins through 5-3 on penalties)
Dolphins ensured that the two country’s reps in the Caf Confederation Cup progressed beyond the preliminary round after they managed nervous penalty kick win over the Equato-Guinean foes, Leones Vegetarianos at the Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt after it ended all square at the end of regulation time.
Report had it that it was Dolphins profligacy in front of goal in the first leg tie played in Malabo that was responsible for their narrow loss and Nigerians had hope that the Pride of Rivers would put their opponents to the sword even before the end of the first half but it was not meant to be.
The hosts had to rely on the heroics of goalkeeper, Sunday Rotimi who saved Leones Vegetarianos second spot kick taken by Guy Yannace and also his fellow team mates who held their nerves to convert all their five spot kicks in front of their fans.
The victory ended Dolphins winless streak dated Match Day 37 of last season Nigeria Premier League season when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Enyimba last November.
The Port Harcourt side came into the tie knowing that they must score at least two goals to progress to the first round and they went for an early goal right from kick off attacking the visitors from Equatorial Guinea and their early minute raid paid off when Emeka Atuloma put the Pride of Rivers in front in the 26th minute.
The hosts still poured out in search of more goals before the end of the first half but the Leones Vegetarianos proved a stumbling block clearing all opportunities Dolphins had out of danger as the initial half ended with the home team in ascendancy by a slim 1-0 and there was no further goal in the second half as the game had to be decided by penalties before Dolphins rode their luck.
The 2014 Federation Cup finalists must however dust themselves up almost immediately with a blockbuster tie against Club Africain of Tunisia awaiting them in the first round. They must play better than they did against Leones Vegetarianos if they want to stand any chance against the Tunisians.
Kano Pillars 3-0 Al Malakia ( Pillars triumph 5-0 on aggregate)
Sai Masugida made their intention known before the start of the lucrative African club competition that they wouldn’t want a repeat of last season mishap which saw them eliminate in the preliminary round by AS Vita Club of Democratic Republic of Congo.
No wonder they went for some of the best players in the country and it was no surprise that the Kano side defeated their opponents from South Sudan both home and away.
They made victory certain at the Sani Abacha Stadium after goals from Ezekiel Mba and a brace from Gambo Mohammed handed them further boost as they qualify for the first round without much sweat 5-0 on aggregate.
They are billed for face either Club Olympique de Bamako of Mali or Moghreb Tetouan of Morocco with the Moroccans already down by two goals to nil after the first leg in Bamako two weeks ago.
Pillars must go into their subsequent matches both on the continent and in the league which starts next week with the same mentality with which they dispatched the South Sudanese foes if they do not want a repeat of successive years’ heartbreaks.