*CAF Confederation Cup prelims
By Oluwole Francis
FC Ifeanyiubah secured a very slim 1-0 win against Egyptian side, Al- Masry in the first leg of their CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round tie in Nnewi on Sunday. The Nigerians resorted to prayers before their Cameroonian midfielder, Tamen Medrano, scored the winner two minutes from time.
The hosts who were expected to win big to make the return leg less laborious attacked the Egyptians with determination.
In the 16th minute, Ahmed Abdelhalim, in Al-Masry’s goal post, made a brilliant save from Prince Aggreh’s powerful header.
Abdelhalim continued to repeatedly frustrate the boys of the home team. Ifeanyi Onuigbo tasted the chalice three minutes before the half hour mark saving the big striker’s fierce shot.
The goalkeeper thwarted the Anambra Warriors’ raids once again in the 33rd minute making a double save from Aggreh and King Osanga’s efforts.
Al-Masry nearly took the lead late in the first half through Ahmed Abdulraaof but Ikechukwu Ezenwa produced a fine save to deny him.
The home side upped the tempo after the break but Al- Masry remained resolute in their defending. Valentine Nwabili came close to handing his side the lead in the 67th minute but failed to direct his shot on goal.
Al-Masry got a rare chance a minute later but Ahmed Gomaa failed to beat Ezenwa from a good position. Medrano netted the winner in the 88th minute firing past Abdelhalim after he was set up substitute Isaac Loute.
This makes the second leg a tight game for the Nigerians who will be playing against the side with a massive following in the north African nation.