The League Management Company (LMC) has commended the players and management of Enyimba International FC of Aba for booking a place in the group stage of the 2016 CAF Champions League competition.
Shehu Dikko, the Chairman of LMC told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday that the team exhibited the ‘Nigerian spirit.’
Enyimba, Nigeria’s remaining representative in the competition defeated Etoile du Sahel FC in Sousse, 4-3 on penalties after the tie ended 3-3 on aggregate to cruise into the group stage.
Etoile had scored three goals in the 43rd, 61st and 75th minutes to cancel Enyimba’s three goals advantage from the first leg encounter, played in Port Harcourt a fortnight ago.
The game, however, went into straight penalty shootout with both clubs losing two of their spot kicks respectively before Enyimba won 4-3 via a `sudden-death.’
Dikko while applauding the team’s performance noted that the feat was the beginning of the turnaround of the country’s performance at international competitions.
The win ensured Enyimba became the first Nigerian team since 2012 to reach the group stage (money spinning stage) of the competition.
Defending champions TP Mazembe were thrown out of the competition having played a 1-1 draw with Wydad Casablanca in Wednesday’s second leg and losing out on a 3-1 aggregate score line.
Record eight-time African champions Al Ahly, Vita Club of DR Congo, ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’Ívoire, Entente Setif of Algeria, Zamalek of Egypt, and Zesco United of Zambia also qualified for the group stage.
Draws for the group stage will be made on May 24