Nigeria’s sole representative left in the Caf Champions League, Enyimba were held to a goalless draw by 10-man Al Hilal on Sunday in the first leg of their first-round encounter at Enyimba Stadium, Aba.
Though the People’s Elephant were handed a massive boost in the 20th minute when Al-Hillal’s Bazar Hamid Nassir was shown a straight red card for an off the ball incident, the home team failed to make their numerical advantage count.
The Nigeria League champions huffed and puffed for the entire duration and would now hope for better luck in the second leg in Omdurman in a fortnight.
After playing their last game behind-closed-doors, Enyimba welcomed back their fans to the stadium for Sunday’s match but that did not impact on their performance.
Though Usman Abd’Allah’s men launched the onslaught on their opponents right from the blast of the whistle, they failed to get a goal.
In the fourth minute, Nelson Ogbonnaya hit the side netting from a perfect cross from Stanley Okorom.
Austin Oladapo Reuben Bala, and Okorom all had good chances to score in a first half which the home side dominated completely but Al Hilal put up stiff resistance regardless all that was thrown at them by the Peoples Elephant.
Enyimba continued their dominance of a depleted Al Hilal team in the second half but not even the introduction of forwards Bashir Abdulrahaman, Martins Usule and Cyril Olisema could help them break the deadlock.