The two Nigerian representatives suffered contrasting fortunes in their preliminary round first leg ties played at Aba and Kinshasa respectively
Enyimba defeated Anges de Notse 3-1 in Aba while Pillars lost 3-1 in Kinshasa against AS Vita.
Former premier league goal king Sibi Gwar was the saviour for the People's Elephant at the Enyimba International Stadium as he came off the bench to score twice to rescue his side from an upset in the hands of the modest Togolese side.
Enyimba went on to win 3-1 after trailing The Angels for about 50 minutes as they got their bearing and goals in the last seven minutes of the encounter.
The Aba giants' goalkeeper Femi Thomas , who was anonymous for most part of the first half watched in awe as Togolese dangerman Cheik Aziz Camara drew the first blood in the 40th minute. It was a goal conceded after some shoddy defending at the back by the former champions.
The Angels took their one-goal lead into the break but Ifeanyi Ede, Abdulrahman Bashir and Kingsley Sokari were all guilty of missing gilt-edged chances that could have turned the game around before the end of the first half.
Enyimba began the second half with more urgency to get the equaliser but poor marksmanship still robbed them of scoring with new signings Bashir and Mfon Udoh, being particularly the culprits in missing golden chances.
Gwar, who had replaced Ede just before half time, turned on the show with seven minutes left by scoring the equaliser. The celebration of the equaliser had barely died down when youngster, Kingsley Sokari pounced and gave Enyimba the lead on 85 minutes. Five minutes later, Gwar scored his second of the afternoon and Enyimba's third to give the Aba club a two-goal lead.
Enyimba will now take a two-goal cushion into the second leg scheduled to hold in Lome next weekend.
Meanwhile, Nigerian champions, Kano Pillars, began their campaign on a losing note in Kinshasa. Pillars lost 1-3 to DR Congo's AS Vita Club at the Stade Tata Raphael.
Interestingly, the first half was an affair for players who took part at the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) to score goals. The Congolese club got themselves in front when Firmin Mubele Ndombe scored in the 11th minute.
It took Kano Pillars 20 minutes to get back on level terms with their hosts through midfielder Rabiu Ali.
Just after Ali's goal, Bello Kofarmata missed a glorious opportunity to give Pillars the lead after rounding the AS Vita goalkeeper but failed to hit target.
But Sai Masu’s joy lasted only 14 minutes when Guy Lusadisu Basisila restored AS Vita's lead and ensured they went into the break the more comfortable.
The second half began on a sour note for Pillars as Kofarmata saw red for a second yellow card offence in the 54th minute. Two minutes after the Nigerians went one man down, AS Vita scored through Lema Mabidi to give themselves a two-goal lead with over 30 minutes to play.
Pillars however held on to avoid conceding a fourth goal for the remaining 30 minutes and added time. The return leg between Kano Pillars and AS Vita will take place at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano on Saturday.