Cyril Olisema scored as late as the 95th minute, as Nigeria’s Enyimba defeated South African visitors Orlando Pirates 1-0 in Aba on Wednesday night to top Group A of the 2020-21 Total CAF Confederation Cup.
With the score goalless five minutes into injury time, Enyimba was trailing the group on seven points, and with Algeria’s ES Setif leading at home 1-0 to Libya’s Ahly Benghazi at the same time, it was Pirates and Setif who are in the quarterfinals.
But Olisema scored a priceless goal that won Enyimba the game, and shifted his side from the group’s bottom to top, as they levelled Pirates on nine points but with a better head-to-head record on away goals’ rule. Setif tally stopped at eight to leave the tournament with broken hearts.
Enyimba and Pirates will now join the quarterfinals draw, scheduled in Cairo, Egypt on Friday 30 April. Ahly Benghazi trailed the thrilling group on seven points.
In Aba, visitors Pirates were happy to contain their hosts Enyimba for almost the entire game. The People’s Elephant – as Enyimba is nicknamed – threw everything in attack, knowing a single goal could guide them to the quarterfinals. But Pirates defense stood tall till the 95th minute.
But it was to be a very late drama, when substitute Tosin Omoyele found Olisema who scored the goal Enyimba needed, as they celebrated wildly with the final whistle.
Meanwhile in Setif, it was an early bizarre goal that gave the hosts victory. After a cross, the ball rebounded from Benghazi’s Ali Al Qomati’s hand, and while the referee was about to whistle a penalty, his assistant waved that the ball already crossed the goal line to give the hosts a second minute early lead.
Ahli Benghazi tried to find the equalizer but in vain. And while Setif thought that was enough to qualify with the final whistle going while it was still goalless in Aba, they were to have a very late heartbreak with Enyimba snatching the qualification ticket from their hands,