SAN FRANCISCO, February 11, (THEWILL) – MFM Football Club of Lagos were held to a 1-1 draw by hosts Real Bamako of Mali in their preliminary round tie in the 2018 CAF Champions League on Sunday.
In contrast, Akwa United FC began their CAF Confederation Cup campaign in Uyo on a losing note on Sunday, by falling 1-2 in the first round, first leg match against Hawks of Gambia.
Playing their first-ever competitive game on the continent, MFM FC acquitted themselves well in the first leg game at the Stade Modibo Keita in Bamako in spite of a bright start by their hosts who took a shock lead in the 15th minute through Nojeem Akinyemi.
The lead however lasted only two minutes before Miakab Giscard levelled scores for the home team with a powerful header.
The visitors suffered a setback five minutes before the break when reliable forward Adekunle Adegboyega was substituted by Akuneto Chijioke due to injury.
Real Bamako piled on the pressure in the second half but Ospino Egbe stood firm in goal for the Nigeria Professional Football League NPFL runners-up from last season.
The return leg fixture will come up in a fortnight at the Agege Stadium in Lagos.
However, in Uyo, the teams played on a wet turf following a heavy rain before kick-off at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.
Although, the hosts relentlessly raided the visitors’ area, restricting them in their own half, they missed several scoring chances before the visitors stunned the home fans by scoring first.
The visitors, whose goalkeeper, Yankubu Calley, thwarted every move by the homers, recorded their first goal through Muhammed Jallow, in their first attempt at the homers goal area in the 11th minute.
Although the first goal was against the run of play, Lanin Charity, also beat United’s goalkeeper, Ojo Olorunleke, with a powerful shot in the 35th minute to score the Gambians’ second goal.
The hosts continued to swarm their opponents in the second half and were rewarded in the 71st minute when Victor Mbaoma scrambled in their first goal to enliven the home supporters.
Thereafter, the Gambians defended stoutly while the homeboys continued to fritter several scoring chances.