Enyimba is lone Nigerian club in Africa

Enyimba is the only Nigerian club left in Africa as three others were eliminated on the same match day of the Confederation Cup.

Enyimba beat Bidvest Wits 1-1 on aggregate scores after drawing 0-0 in the 2nd leg played at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar on Wednesday.

The two-time African champions came into the encounter on the back of a 1-1 first leg result, and that priceless away goal proved the difference on the day.

Paul Aigbogun made four changes to his starting lineup from the first leg in Johannesburg, all of which were injury-enforced; there was notably no place for flying winger Stanley Dimgba, who picked up a knock on the eve of the game.

The theme of the game would be its tremendous intensity, buttressed by numerous fouls and snapping tackles in the middle of the park. This lent itself to a nervy encounter, with neither side able to exert control in midfield.

There was finally action close to goal as the game neared the half-hour mark.

Abdulrahman Bashir looked likeliest, playing a one-two on the edge of the area before seeing his low cross cleared on the stretch.

He was involved in his own box soon after, clearing a dangerous cross by Daine Klate, as the Clever Boys came into the game. Left-back Keegan Ritchie, improbably sporting the number 10 shirt, called Fatau Dauda into action just before the break with a swerving drive from way out.

The visitors had the first real chance of the second period, as Bongani Khumalo's header almost crept in at the near post. Wits then had a glorious chance to take the lead, as a low cross to the back post found an unmarked Eleazar Rodgers, but the targetman sent his effort over the top.

That seemed to snap the People’s Elephant awake, and the game's best chance materialized at the other end. Bashir was again at the heart of it, playing a delightful ball over the top for Freedom Omofoman to chase. The winger's searing pace took him clear, but his finish bobbled narrowly wide, to much incredulity.

It was almost predictable, given the full-blooded nature of the physical duels, that someone would get into hot water with the referee. The villain of the piece would be Ghana international Edwin Gyimah. His wild lunge at Austin Oladapo in the centre circle saw him receive a straight red card and reduced the visitors to 10 men for the final 20 minutes.

The tempo flagged following the expulsion, but then sped up in the final moments. Wits somehow made a meal of a promising counter, and then fouled the busy Omofoman as he hared into the box in the last minute. Oladapo's spot kick was brilliantly saved by Kyle Peters, but it would be of no consequence, as the game ended goalless.

The People's Elephant advance to the CAF Confederation Cup Group Stage, and will be in the hat for the draws on Saturday in Cairo.

FINAL: Enyimba 0-0 Bidvest Wits

Enyimba Starting XI: Fatau Dauda, Andrew Abalogu, Ifeanyi Anaemena, Isiaka Oladuntoye, Ikouwem Udo, Farouk Mohammed, Austin Oladapo, Ikechukwu Ibenegbu (Chinedu Udeagha), Stephen Chukwude, Abdulrahman Bashir, Chinonso Okonkwo (Freedom Omofoman)

Unused subs: Theophilus Afelokhai, Ernest Governor, Uche John, Wasiu Alalade, Ugochukwu Leonard

Bidvest Wits Starting XI: Moeneeb Josephs (Kyle Peters), Buhlebuyeza Mkhwanazi, Bongani Khumalo, Daine Klate, Eleazar Rodgers, Keegan Ritchie, Daylon Claasen (Thabang Monare), Thobani Mncwango, Reeve Frosler, Sifiso Myeni (Elias Pelembe), Edwin Gyimah

Unused subs: Lehlohonolo Majoro, Maliele Pule

Yellow cards: Eleazar Rodgers, Reeve Frosler (BID)

Red cards: Edwin Gyimah (BID) 
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