Jabrane Yahya’s first half penalty handed Wydad Athletic Club a first leg advantage as the Moroccan giants ran out 1-0 winners against Enyimba in the African Football League.
Yahya slotted cooly from 12 meters with five minutes to the interval after Olorunleke Ojo was penalised in an end-to-end contest at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Sunday night.
Finidi George kept faith in the eleven that started against Akwa United one week prior, with youngsters Daniel Daga and Chidiebere Nnachi getting the nod, while Ikenna Cooper made the bench after recovering from a knee problem.
In a bright start for the hosts, a rare defensive mix-up by the opponents almost gifted the opener, but Chijioke Mbaoma and Joseph Atule’s strikes where blocked by Wydad’s recovering backline.
Nnachi caused the visitors troubles with some fine incursions from the right, while Atule missed a chance from the far post after Chigozie Chilekwu’s corner evaded the Wydad defence.
Although Wydad’s goal came against the flow of play, the Moroccans controlled proceedings afterwards; but Ikenna Cooper’s introduction restored Enyimba’s stability, and substitutes Imo Obot and Chibueze Izuogu came close in the latter stages.
Somiari Alalibo was shown a red card for a late tackle as Enyimba completed the final couple minutes with ten men.
The second leg will be decided at the Mohammed V Stadium, Casablanca on Wednesday.