Cyril Olisema converted a late penalty to earn Enyimba a 1-0 victory against Diambars FC as Finidi George began his reign as Enyimba head coach on a winning note.
Orok Gabriel was hacked inside the box and with three minutes left, Olisema held his composure to fire the People Elephant to a significant win on the road.
Olorunleke Ojo, Adekunle Adeleke, Fatai Abdullahi and Samuel Kalu were handed their full debuts in Finidi’s first selection as Enyimba gaffer, while Somiari Alalibo and Frank Esobe got their first Confederation Cup appearances.
The Nigerians were made to weather stormy moments early on with Ojo making a sharp save to divert Bilal Yakubu’s ball from going into his net before two other stops from the keeper prevented long-range drives.
The visitors also had chances of their own as Sadiq Abubakar and Fatai Abdullahi both tried from long range.
The match-defining moment, however, came in the closing stages when substitute Orok won the ball in his half and sprinted to the other end before being stopped in the box by an illegal challenge.
Cyril Olisema stepped up to convert the kick that handed Enyimba a big advantage in the CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round tie.
The second leg of the tie will be held on Sunday, October 24 at the Enyimba Stadium.