Nigeria Federation Cup holders Akwa United bowed out of the CAF Condeferations Cup playoffs via the away goals rule after they defeated Al Hilal of Sudan 3-1 at the Godwill Akpabia International Stadium Uyo.
The Promise keepers’ task of qualification was made tougher after Al Hilal shockingly and against the run of play took the lead in the 28th minute through Mohamed Bashir. This meant that United will have to score four unreplied goals to scale through to the next round.
However United bravely came back into the game and applied a great deal of pressure on the Sudanese side and this paid off just before half time when Nya equalized in the 3rd minute of added time.
After the break, Akwa United took the lead when Michael Ibeh scored from close range raising the hope of the home fans that a miracle could be on the cards.
In the 69th minute Akwa United earned a penalty which was converted by Michael Ibeh to make it 3-1 on the night and 4-4 on aggregate leaving the Fed Cup winners just one goal from qualification.
However, that goal was not to come as Al Hilal withstood all the pressure from Akwa United and the game ended 3-1 to the disappointment of the home fans.
In the other match that kicked off at the same time as Akwa United, Enyimba played out a nerve biting goalless draw with Bitvest Wits in Calabar.
The result means that Enyimba are through to the group stages through the away goals rule after the 1st leg ended 1-1 in Pretoria ten days ago.
It should be recalled that yesterday, NPFL Champions Plateau United lost 4-0 to USM Algers and crashed out of the tournament.