Three Nigerian clubs on the continent Plateau United, Rivers United and Kwara United staged a dramatic comeback victories over their respective opponents on Sunday 9 Ocober 2022, in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt.
While Plateau United and Rivers United won 2-1, Kwara United will take a two-goal lead to Morocco for the second leg.
Esperance were punished by Plateau United 2-1 at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja.
Plateau who came back from Badri’s 27th-minute goal struck back with first-half replies from Ifeanyi Emmanuel and Mustapha Ibrahim
The Peace Boys didn’t take long before restoring parity as Emmanuel connected a header to Daniel Itodo’s long throw in the 35th minute.
Ten minutes later, Daniel Itodo again provided another assist via a long throw for Mustapha Ibrahim, who scored Plateau United’s second off another header.
In Port Harcourt, Rivers United stunned Champions League defending Champions, Wydad Casablanca, in a comeback 2-1 victory.
First-half and second-half goals from Malachi Ohawume and Paul Acquah, were enough to take the win as Bouly Sambou got the consolation for the visitors.
Sambou opened the goal chart for Wydad from a 33rd-minute tap-in. Two minutes later, Rivers United equalised through Ohawume. Rivers United took the lead eight minutes into the second half from Acquah’s finish.
Meanwhile, Kwara United came from a goal down to defeat Confederations Cup defending Champions, RS Berkane, 3-1 in a dramatic encounter at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos.
Second-half goals from substitutes Taofeek Ahmed, Wasiu Jimoh, and Barnabas Daniel handed the Afonja Warriors a victory over Berkane who got an early goal from Cheick Ouattara.
It took the visitors just seven minutes to break the silence after Ouattara’s header from a corner beat Adewale Adeyinka.
Chisom Samuel’s chance to draw the home team level from a long-range shot went off target a minute later. Berkane, who settled fastest, almost scored a second goal through Burkinabe defender, Dayo Issoufou, but the shot went wide in the 11th minute.
Two minutes later, another attempt by Jimoh’s shot was saved by Goalkeeper Hamza Hamdani.
Berkane kept frustrating the hosts with a rigid defence as another attempt from Jimoh was parried for a corner kick after he had earlier saved Jide Fatokun’s header in the 26th minute.
Berkane missed a great chance to double their lead through Adama Ba, who received a pass from Ouatarra in the 44th minute
The second half breathed new life into the Afonja Warriors who came back with two goals.
At the start of the second half, Kwara United sent on Ayobami Junior and Taofeek Ahmed for Chisom Samuel and Paul Samson, respectively.
In the 57th minute, the combination of Taofeek and Ayobami produced a chance that smashed against the woodwork.
Taofeek made another attempt in the 68th minute from Jimoh’s pass, but the ball went wide.
Their efforts eventually paid off four minutes later with a Taofeek strike off Issa Gata’s assist.
Kwara United then added two more goals in the 79th and 87th minutes from the duo of Jimoh and Barnabas Daniel.
All the return legs are scheduled for next weekend.