By Victor Okoye
Enyimba International Football Club of Aba on Wednesday slumped to a 1-2 loss to South Africa’s Orlando Pirates in their CAF Confederation Cup Group A clash at the Orlando Stadium.
The hosts dominated the early exchanges to score a well-deserved goal, before the visitors grew into the game in the latter stages.
Deon Hotto gave Orlando Pirates the lead in the 27th minute after he was set up by Linda Mntambo.
Enyimba were awarded a penalty kick late in the first half after Siyabonga Mpontshane fouled Anayo Iwuala inside the penalty box.
Austine Oladapo made no mistake as he superbly tucked the ball into the net, sending goalkeeper Mpontshane the wrong way.
The Buccaneers were awarded a penalty kick of their own in the 76th minute after Gabadinho Mhango was upended in the penalty box.
Substitute Tshegofatso Mabasa however blasted his kick wide.
Mabasa made amends for his earlier miss when he nodded home the winning goal a minute from time.
Enyimba will next host Algerian club ES Setif in their next game on April 1 at the Enyimba International Stadium in Aba.
The result meant Enyimba lost their leadership of the group to their South African hosts, who now have four points from two matches.
Enyimba are in second place with three points from two matches, ahead of Libya side Ahli Benghazi on goals scored.
The Libyan side had beaten Algerian side ES Setif 1-0 in the group’s other match.
Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
Orlando Pirates 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 4
Enyimba Inter. 2 1 0 1 3 3 – 3
Ahli Benghazi 2 1 0 1 2 2 – 3
ES Setif 2 0 1 1 0 1 -1 1