Against most expectations, brave Nigerian flag bearers in the CAF Champions League have given themselves a chance to reach the group stage of the competition after Rivers United upset Wydad Casablanca 2-1 and Plateau United also stunned mighty Esperance by the same scores today.
Lifted by the promise of $40,000-a-man to reach the money-spinning group stage of the Champions League, NPFL champions Rivers United fell behind to Moroccan champions WAC in the 32nd minute through Bouly Sambou.
However, the Port Harcourt outfit showed great character when they fought back with goals by Malachi Ohawume in the 34th minute and Paul Acquah eight minutes into the second half.
Plateau United, who finished runners-up in the league last season, also take a slim first advantage to Tunisia after they defeated Esperance 2-1.
The Tunisians took the lead after 27 minutes through Anice Badri.
But with Plateau Governor Lalong at the MKO Abiola National Stadium Abuja to cheer them on, Plateau United dug deep to win this clash.
Ifeanyi Emmanuel drew the home team level after 35 minutes, before Mustapha Ibrahim fired home the winning goal in first half stoppage time.
Both Nigerian teams will now have to defend their slim leads in North Africa next weekend to advance to the mini-league stage of the lucrative Champions League.
CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Plateau United 2 (Ifeanyi Emmanuel 35, Mustapha Ibrahim 45) vs Esperance (Anice Badri 27)
Rivers United 2(Malachi Ohawume 34, Paul Acquah 53) vs Wydad 1 (Bouly Sambou 32)