Malian side AS Real Bamako forced visiting MFM FC of Nigeria to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their CAF Champions League qualifiers in their debut in the prestigious Africa club competition.
MFM shocked the home ground when they took the lead in the 15th minute courtesy of Akinyemi Nojeem but their lead only lasted two minutes as Miakib Giscard drew the home side level with a powerful header.
Both teams went into the half time break level at 1-1, and despite massive pressure from the home side, the Nigerians hanged on to claim a score draw which could prove valuable in the return leg.
The return leg will take place in Lagos in two weeks time, with the Nigerians needing a 0-0 draw or an outright win to progress to the next round of the tournament.
Speaking after the game coach Fidelis Ilechukwu said his ward will work very hard in the return leg to kill off the tie, and praised their efforts in keeping the Malians at bay.
” We suffered two injuries during the game, and that lead us to making substitutions which we didn’t plan to make during the game. My boys played to instructions although our loss of concentration gave them the equaliser “, Ilechukwu said during the post match interview.
” Hopefully we will correct the mistakes we have noticed in this game, and the return leg will no doubt give us the chance to try something new. We are confident of our chances”.