Al-Ahly Benghazi vs Enyimba – 4-3 thriller in Benghazi

Al-Ahly Benghazi vs Enyimba – 4-3 thriller in Benghazi
Credit @EnyimbaFC Twitter

Al-Ahly Benghazi vs Enyimba met all expectations and created as much excitement as the UEFA Champions League. The home side defeated two-time Champions League winners Enyimba 4-3 to take to the return leg in Aba in a week.

Al-Ahly Benghazi vs Enyimba – First half

Al-Ahly Benghazi vs Enyimba is a tie that is not strange to both sides. The two teams have met on two different occasions.

The game started cautiously, but with their first attack of the match, Enyimba broke the offside trap, but Joseph Atule saw his shot parried by the goalkeeper Louhichi. The rebound was tapped into an empty net by Chijioke Mbaoma. 

Enyimba was back a minute later as they broke through the Al-Ahly Benghazi defence, but Chijioke Mbaoma could not beat the goalkeeper.

The usually reliable striker saw his shot parried for the first corner kick.

Al-Ahly Benghazi saw a shot from outside the box in the 7th minute sail dangerously close to goal but went over the bar for a goal kick.

In the eighth minute, Al-Ahly got rewarded for their efforts as they got the equalizer through Taktak. Olorunleke Ojo failed to reach a cross into his box and allowed Taktak an easy header to bring matters level.

A mesmerizing move by Al Ahly Benghazi in the 17th minute saw Enyimba almost clear into their net, but the resultant corner saw a tame header that went wide.

The Al-Ahly Benghazi vs Enyimba tie was turning into a spectacle. 

In the 25th minute, Al-Ahly Benghazi tested the Enyimba goalkeeper again with a shot from outside the box, but it went just over the bar.

Al-Ahly got their second goal as Imo Obot cleared a low cross into his net in the 42nd minute to give Al-Ahly Benghazi a first-half lead.

The Al-Ahly Benghazi vs Enyimba tie was up to expectations.

Enyimba went into the second half behind

al-ahly benghazi vs enyimba
Credit @EnyimbaFC Twitter

The second half saw Enyimba trying the high press and forcing the home side into their box.

The home fans were making their voices heard at every opportunity.

After the fireworks of the first half, the second-half tempo of the Al-Ahly Benghazi vs Enyimba tie dropped considerably, with only Enyimba showing any sense of urgency. 

After ten minutes, both sides could not create any clear-cut chance, as Al-Ahly Benghazi showed Enyimba the defending to expect in the second leg.

In the 58th minute, Enyimba broke again, but a through pass could not get to Mbaoma.

A minute later, a rocket from outside the box from Owen George came off the crossbar, but Eze Ekwutoziam was on hand to tap into an empty net to make it 2-2.

Al-Ahly Benghazi showed their unsportsmanly conduct in the 61st minute as they continued to play despite two Enyimba players sprawling on the floor.

They came close to scoring, but Olorunleke Ojo was quick off his line to smother the shot and keep the scores level.

The Enyimba goal seemed to bring the urgency back into the Al-Ahly play as they reached into their bag of tricks to outdo Enyimba.

Enyimba made his first change of the game when he brought on Murphy Ndukwu for Owen George.

Enyimba received their first yellow card of the game through Joseph Atule in the 71st minute.

In the 72nd minute, Al-Ahly worked a corner kick beautifully, but the eventual shot went over the bar.

Al-Ahly pressure finally told in the 75th minute, and they went into the lead again. Enyimba's defence did not deal with a cross, and Taktak sneaked in at the far post to score.

With five minutes to go, Enyimba responded again. Imo Obot struck a powerful free-kick, but the goalkeeper parried it. The ensuing rebound was stroked home by Murphy Ndukwu to make it 3-3.

The Libyan side stole a win at the death to take a vital victory to Aba. The Al-Ahly Benghazi vs Enyimba game was an absolute thriller.

Enyimba Lineup: 

12 OlorunLeke Ojo (GK) (Captain), 25 Somiari Alalibo, 26 Chikamso Okechukwu, 29 Imo Obot, 33 Uwana Auquo, 6 Eze Ekwutoziam, 8 George Owen, 22 Ikenna Cooper, 30 Ekene Awazie, 7 Joseph Atule, 1 Chijioke Mbaoma

Subs:

2 Bilal Yakubu, 4 Desmond Ojietefan, 13 Anthony Okachi, 24 Chigozie Chilekwu, 27 Chibuike Nwaiwu 31 Tijani Kabiru, 32 Murphy Ndukwu, 35 Henry Ani (GK)

What next for Enyimba

Enyimba needs to work on their defence in the return leg. They let in cheap goals to the Libyans.

Finidi George has plenty of work to do if Enyimba is to make it to the next round, but the People's Elephant are still in the tie.

This article was most recently revised and updated 9 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter. Chooka has a passion for football and has been a fan of Enugu Rangers (over 30 years) and Real Madrid (Since 1996).