Federation Cup holders Enyimba suffered a 2-0 defeated in the hands of ten-man Nigeria’s Under-20 internationals on Day 1 of the revamped Super 4 pre-season tournament.
Flying Eagles skipper Musa Muhammed converted a 62nd-minute penalty after Ifeanyi Anaemena fouled Taiwo Awoniyi inside the goal area, and substitute Musa Yahaya sealed a deserved win for the coach Manu Garba-tutored side on the nick of full-time.
The Nigeria U-20 were reduced to ten men on 57 minutes as Prince Aggreh saw red for a second yellow card.
The Super 4 is parading Nigeria’s pair of U-20 and U-23 internationals for the first time, ahead of their upcoming African Youth Championship (AYC) and an All-African Games qualifier, both later in the year.
Enyimba, who are set for a Caf Champions League preliminary clash with Beninese champions Buffles du Borgou FC(BBFC) in February, got off to a slow start against a high pressing Eagles attack.
Goalkeeper Chijioke Ejiogu tipped Muhammed’s early free-kick as the internationals took the game to their opponents right from the blast of the whistle.
Enyimba looked to show early signs of seriousness in the ninth minute, when Nzube Anaezemba fired from range after a good footwork, but goalkeeper Joshua Enaholo parried his effort and Andrew Abalogu couldn’t make good of the rebound.
Awoniyi failed to connect with Muhammed’s cross in the 25th minute and then forced a superb save from Ejiogu 5 minutes later as Coach Garba’s side asserted early dominance on the proceedings but failed to register a first-half goal.
Sweden-based striker Awoniyi continued to terrorise the Peoples Elephants’ defence after the restart and watched his side-footed shot fly off target in the 58th minute.
Anaemena fouled Awoniyi in the penalty area on the hour mark and Muhammed scored from the spot to get his side in ascendancy, at which point they were already playing one-man down.
A number of changes from both teams took the game on its head but there was not to be a late comeback for the Aba outfit, but for another Eagles goal courtesy of Yahaya.