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Enyimba crash out of ACL

Six-time Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions, Enyimba FC have crashed out of the CAF Champions League after a 0-2 defeat touh Egyptian club, Smoa FC in the second leg of their first round clash in Alexandria.
Enyimba won the first leg 1-0 in Aba on March 15 and knew only a gritty performance in Alexandria would guarantee safe passage into the next round.
The Enyimba trainer, Kadiri Ikhana started with goalkeeper, Femi Thomas and it proved to be an inspired move as he produced saves right out of the top drawer to keep Smouha at bay in the 15th and 39th minutes.
Smouha had the ball in the Enyimba net on 20 minutes but the goal was disallowed for offside.
The Egyptians were the better side early on and almost took the lead on the stroke of half time but were again denied by the outstanding Thomas who was standing firm like the Rock of Gilbrater.
Smouha appeared to be struggling to cope with the absence of the home faithful at the Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria as the contest was decided behind closed doors.
Enyimba’s task was made arguably more arduous when playmaker, Kingsley Sokari sent off in the 70th minute.
Ikhana responded swiftly and threw on Ifeanyi Anaemena for Andrew Abalogu as the veteran trainer looked to plug holes in midfield.
Enyimba continued to be pushed deep and the pressure eventually led the concession of a penalty 10 minutes from time.
The penalty was converted by Hani Al Egeizi as Smouha took the lead on the day, levelling matters on aggregate before Hermann Kouao fired in the crucial second at the death.
Enyimba thus crashed out 2-1 aggregate and will now ponder what might have been.

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