It was first time ever that Akwa United will score as much as 3 goals in the Continental Competition inside the Next of Champion. Unfortunately, the 3 goals scored counted for nothing as Akwa United was sent out of the CAF Confederation Cup by Al Hilal of Sudan.
The Promise Keepers lost out 3-3 on the away goals rule after the first leg ended 2-0 in Sudan.
AI-Hilal skipper Basheer stunned hosts Akwa United in the 28th minute, tapping in a rebound after goalkeeper Ojo Olorunleke had spilled a fierce shot.
Michael Ibe restored parity for the Promise Keepers in the final minute of the first half.
Four minutes into the second half, Ibe finished off Haggai Katoh’s delightful pass to make it 2-1 for Akwa United.
Home Eagles forward Gabriel Okechukwu came close in making it 3-1 for Akwa United but his free-kick was tipped away the Al Hilal goalkeeper.
Ibe completed his hat-trick in the 69th minute from the spot after Aniekeme was fouled in the box by an Al Hilal player.
In Calabar, the 7-time NPFL champions, Enyimba FC secured a place in the 2017/18 CAF Confederation Cup group stages following a goalless second-leg against Bidvest Wits to see them advance 1-1 on aggregate. The Aba warlords by this achievement is the sole survival of the 4 NPFL clubsides that represented Nigeria in the continent.
A first-leg away goal advantage, coupled with Wednesday’s result in Calabar ensured that Paul Aigbogun’s men will join 15 other teams in the round robin stage of the competition.
Inside Modibo Keita Stadium in Bamako, MFM International were also knocked out of the CAF Confederation Cup despite a face saving 0-0 draw against Djoliba of Mali in the second leg of their play-off tie.
Djoliba edged out the Olukoya Boys 1-0 on aggregate having won the first leg 1-0 at the Agege Stadium and will now take part in the group stages of the competition.
Akwa United and MFM International join the defending champion, Plateau United who lost 4-0 against Algeria’s USM Alger on Tuesday, bowing out 5-2 on aggregate.