Enyimba fail to turn dominance into goals
ABA, Nigeria, July 30 (Reuters) - Nigeria's Enyimba failed to enforce their overwhelming dominance and were held to a 1-1 draw by South Africa's Orlando Pirates in their African Champions League Group B match on Sunday.
Chidozie Johnson equalised in the 66th minute to spare Enyimba the embarrassment of defeat in a match in which they totally dominated but were unable to create any real scoring opportunities.
Pirates, who rarely ventured near their Nigerian hosts' penalty area, took a surprise lead with a goal from Lucky Lekgwathi in the 33rd minute.
The fullback rifled home a long-range free kick to put Pirates into the lead at half-time.
Enyimba were denied the first goal in the seventh minute when Emeka Akueme hit the crossbar as Pirates showed the first glimpses of the rickety defence that would have them on the back foot for the rest of the game.
It was their failure to clear from a set piece that allowed Johnson to score the equaliser with a half volley from the edge of the penalty area.
Pirates goalkeeper Francis Chansa made an instinctive save just four minutes later to stop an Akueme header from less than a metre out.
Enyimba, who won the Champions League title in 2003 and 2004, were favourites to win a second successive match in the group but the draw kept them within striking distance of the other three sides in the group. It was a second successive draw for Pirates in group B.
Later on Sunday, ASEC Abidjan of the Ivory Coast host Ghana's Hearts of Oak in the other Group B game.
On Saturday, Asante Kotoko of Ghana and defending champions Al Ahli of Egypt both won their Group A games.