Pascal Angan headed a late goal to snatch a 1-0 first-leg lead for Wydad Casablanca of Morocco over Enyimba of Nigeria in an African Champions League semi-final Saturday.
A home team backed by a capacity 80,000 crowd at the Mohammed V Stadium in the Moroccan commercial capital had virtually given up hope of cracking open a brave Nigerian defence when they were awarded an 89th-minute free kick.
Enyimba goalkeeper Paul Godwin, who had been outstanding under a relentless Wydad onslaught led by Congo-Brazzaville striker Fabrice Ondama, misjudged the kick and diminutive 25-year-old Benin midfielder Angan nodded home.
Godwin, who committed a rare blunder to gift Heartland victory in the Nigerian FA Cup final last weekend, was lucky not to be sent off a minute after the goal when he handled outside the box.
It was the first loss suffered by two-time African champions Enyimba in the competition this year after eight victories and three draws, including one at the same Casablanca stadium against Raja during the group phase.
Enyimba host the return match on October 16 in south-eastern city Aba with 1992 champions Wydad seeking an away goal that would leave their opponents needing to score three to qualify for the two-leg November final.
Esperance of Tunisia, runners-up to TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo last year, are favoured to overcome Al-Hilal of Sudan in the other semi-final with Omdurman hosting the first leg Sunday.