Nigeria’s representatives at the CAF Champions league, Plateau United and Mountain of Fire and Miracles Football Club (MFM F.C.) have proved their mettle in the competition by beating Eding Sport of Cameroon and Real Bamako of Mali respectively to qualify for the round of 32 games. It is the first time both Nigerian clubs would be participating in the elite competition for African club sides.
Plateau United headed to Cameroon with a 3 nil advantage and it was already looking like a mere formality for the Nigerian team and a formality it was indeed. United beat Eding Sport 1-0 despite going a man down due to a red card to ensure they won both legs home and away with a 4-0 aggregate scoreline. Plateau United will now face Etoile Du Sahel of Tunisia in the next round. The game will take place on the 10th and 17th of March, 2018, in Tunisia and Nigeria respectively.
MFM F.C., on the other hand, were able to edge out Real Bamako 1-0 after playing a 1 all draw in the first leg against the Mali-based side. MFM will face Algeria’s MC Alger who defeated Otoho d’Oyo of Republic of the Congo 9-0 on the night after losing 2-0 in the first leg to win 9-2 on aggregate. The first leg tie between MFM and MC Alger will hold at the Agege stadium in Lagos on March 10, 2018, with the return leg scheduled for March 17, 2018, in Algeria.
Nigerian teams always struggle with clubs from North Africa and both Plateau United and MFM FC will have to step up their game if they are to stand a chance to make it to the Champions’ League Group phase.
Akwa United, however, came up with a spirited performance and capped a wonderful day for Nigeria on the continent by stunning Banjul Hawks of Gambia winning 2-0 after losing the first leg 2-1 at home in the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium to win 4-3 on aggregate and secure a passage into the next round of the CAF Confederations Cup. They would be up against Al-Ittihad of Libya in the next phase of the competition. Al-Ittihad will host the first leg on March 9, 2018, with the return leg to take place in Nigeria on March 16, 2018.