Enyimba Football Club have moved into the quarterfinal of the CAF Confederation Cup following an emphatic 5-2 win against San Pedro in their final group D fixture at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny on Sunday.
The Nigerian champions only needed to avoid defeat in Abidjan to be assured of qualification, but Fatai Osho’s men did much more, putting five past the hosts to advance in style.
With just two minutes on the clock, Bashir Abdulrahaman rounded Sansan Kambou and slotted into an empty net for the opener; and Victor Mbaoma tapped in the second one minute later. Sherif Jimoh, however, pulled one back for the Ivorians to tune up an incredibly fiery opening six minutes.
Midway through the half, Austin Oladapo produced his second long-range strike in two outings to restore Enyimba’s two-goal lead, but Irie Zan Bi reduced the deficit again for the hosts just before the break.
San Pedro pegged the visitors in their half after the restart and were twice denied by Theophilus Afelokhai’s brilliance in goal. But Enyimba eventually got their fourth, this time against the run of play, in the 75th minute when Mbaoma slotted Cyril Olisema’s deflected pass into the right bottom corner.
Stanley Dimgba rounded off the scoring, comporting himself nicely to hold off two challengers to net his fourth of the group stage.
Having sealed qualification, Enyimba will know their quarterfinal opponents when the draws are conducted in Cairo on Wednesday.
In the meantime, the People’s Elephant will return to Nigeria to face MFM FC in a rescheduled Nigeria Professional Football League fixture at the Agege Stadium on Wednesday.