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AFL: Wydad shut out Enyimba for a quarterfinal first leg triumph in Nigeria

Strong defending and a penalty kick conversion from captain Yahya Jabrane was all Morocco’s Wydad AC needed to earn a 1-0 quarterfinal first leg victory at Nigerian champions Enyimba on Sunday in the African Football League. Jabrane finished from the spot towards the end of the first half to give the three-time African club champions a victory away from home at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo. The teams will meet again on Wednesday in Casablanca where Wydad are heavy favorites to confirm their spot in the semifinals.

Scoring goals is the main concern for Wydad heading into the AFL considering the injury absence of striker Bouly Junior Sambou but the Moroccan club’s strong defense encountered little difficulty in Nigeria. The majority of the first leg was mostly played between the two penalty areas as both clubs struggled to create opportunities beyond long distance efforts. Wydad goalkeeper Youssef El Motie only needed to make one save from twenty shot attempts by the hosts in a sleepy affair.

Despite failing to be much of an attacking threat themselves, the defensive approach worked well for Wydad who made their breakthrough when right back Ayoub El Amloud was played in behind the defense and was taken down by Enyimba keeper Olorunleke Ojo. Ojo had no chance on the ensuing spot kick from Jabrane who sent the keeper the wrong way with a perfectly placed strike.

After halftime, Wydad were content to defend their lead while Enyimba’s second half attacking forays lacked the quality to test their opponents. Young talents Daniel Daga and Adiele Eriugo both had shooting opportunities for Enyimba but lacked the composure to find a way past El Motie. In addition to the task of earning a victory in Casablanca, Enyimba will be without defender Alalibo Somiari after he was sent off in second half stoppage time.

Highlights of the first leg in Nigeria are below.

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