Al-Merrikh 3-0 Enyimba: Saif Terry’s hat-trick subdues People's Elephant


Enyimba suffered a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Al Merrikh in the first round, first leg of the 2020-21 Caf Champions League.

Saif Terry’s treble was all the Sundanese giants needed to get past the Nigerians.

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Going into Wednesday’s clash, the People's Elephant who overcame Burkina Faso’s Rahimo over two legs, bowed 1-0 to local rivals Ifeanyi Ubah FC in their preparatory match. However, they travelled to Khartoum’s Al-Merrikh Stadium in Omdurman with high hopes. Yet, it was their hosts who triumphed at the end of 90 minutes.

In the keenly contested affair, Terry put the hosts ahead just seven minutes into the game after controlling a long pass from defender Ahmed Adam before beating goalkeeper Bassa Djeri and displacing two of his markers.

The goal was an eye-opener for the Nigerians who dominated ball possession afterwards, but they were poor in the final third.

It was Terry who doubled his team’s lead with a minute into the half-time break having profited from a counter-attack engineered by Bakri Al-Madina.

Fatai Osho’s team came out stronger in the second half, albeit, they were unable to break the well-organised Al-Merrikh backline.

Even with the introduction of Abiodun Adebayo for Nabil Yaro and Tosin Omoyele for Samson Obi, they were unable to get past goalkeeper Munjid Al-Neel who was rarely tested.

The Red Devils sealed victory in the 90th minute with Terry completing his treble to send Enyimba home with their heads bowed low.

With this result, Osho’s team must defeat Didier Gomes Da Rosa’s side by four unreplied goals in the second leg billed for Aba in 2021 to stand a chance of progressing to the group phase. Failure to do that would see them demoted to the Caf Confederation Cup.

In the previous decade, Enyimba enjoyed success on the continent after defeating Egypt’s Ismaily to become the first Nigerian team to win the Caf Champions League before going ahead to defend their title the following year.

Since then, the eight-time Nigeria Professional Football League champions have failed to make an impression on the continent.

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