Two-time winners, Enyimba yesterday defeated Vipers SC of Uganda 2-0 to qualify for the next round of the CAF Champions League on aggregates scores of 2-1.
Trailing 1-0 from the first leg preliminary round held a fortnight back in Kampala, the Nigerian champions scored in either side of the half to make light-work of the Ugandan champions, who were holding out for a draw to qualify at the expense of the homers.
Playing in Port Harcourt, due to ongoing repair works at their traditional home ground in Aba, top scorer in the Nigerian league two years ago, Mfom Udoh shot Enyimba into the lead on 29 minutes, calmly converting from the penalty spot, to send a sense of relief into Coach Paul Aigbogun, who had led the Elephants to three successive defeats and was facing severe pressure from fans, who were getting increasingly worried with the losing streak of the seven-time record league champions.
The goal rattled Vipers, who, thereafter, took the game to the Nigerians but found the defence line led by Chinedu Udorji impregnable, resorting to long shots from afar, that did little to trouble goalkeeper Femi Thomas.
Enyimba knew their 1-0 lead was nothing more than cold comfort as a goal by the visitors would be against their interest, making it all the more important to score a second goal, which Udoh gladly obliged on the hour mark, rounding up his marker before unleashing a volley that rested at the back of the net.
There would be no more goal as Enyimba held on to qualify 2-1 on aggregate, joining Warri Wolves in the next round of Africa’s premier club competition.