Lobi Stars suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of visitors Wydad Casablanca in a CAF Champions League Group A match played at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu on Saturday.
The result sees the Moroccan giants join Mamelodi Sundowns on six points at the top of the log, while the Nigerian contenders remain in fourth place on three points.
Wydad were denied a strong shout for a penalty in the early minutes, but they were deservedly awarded one in the 18th minute when Mohammed Ounnajem was chopped down the box. Striker Mohammed Nahiri took on the spot kick and scored on 20 minutes to put the visitors 1-0 up.
That proved to be the only major attacking highlight of the first half, with Stars unable to find their rhythm in an effort to get back on level terms, while Wydad were happy to sit back and try hit their opponents on the counter attack.
The Nigerian side were much improved in the second half and threatened an equaliser in the early minutes, with the visitors’ defence called into serious action for the first time in the match.
Yet Wydad should have extended their lead just after the our mark when they were awarded another spot kick. This time Ounnajem took the penalty, but his low effort hit the outside of the post – a major reprieve for Stars.
Just a few minutes later a mistake at the back from the hosts gave Ounnajem another great scoring chance, but it was not his day in front of goal, as his attempt to log goalkeeper Olufemi Kayode travelled high and wide of the target.
Wydad saw out the game with relative comfort to pick up a valuable three-point haul on the road. The teams will return to Champions League action on February 12 with the reverse game, which is scheduled to be held in Rabat.
Lobi Stars 0
Wydad Casablanca (1) 1 (Nahiri 20’ pen)
Stars: Kayode, Stephen, Kone (Olukokon 75’), Kelly, Sanni Mama, Timileyin (Ogunye 63’), Solomon, Martins, John, Ojo (Agahowa 87’), Olisema
Wydad: Tagnaouti, Dari, Nakach, Ounnajem (Ouattara 90+3’), Gaddarine, Babatunde (Tighazoui 77’), El Haddad (Elowasti 82’), El Karti, Jabrane, Noussir, Nahiri