Nigerian Cup champions Akwa United got their campaign in the 2016 Caf Confederation Cup off to a fine start by claiming a 1-0 win against Vita Club de Mokanda in Pointe-Noire, Congo, on Saturday.
Akwa United's new-signing, Ubong Ekpai, scored the winning goal to ensure that the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) club return to their Nest of Champions in Uyo with a goal advantage ahead of the return leg in a fortnight.
Ekpai was one of four new signings named in the start list of Akwa United by head coach Maurice Cooreman for their maiden appearance on the continent while Kufre Ebong, Emeka Isaac and Michael Okoro Ibe were the others.
The Promise Keepers had the odds stacked against them before kickoff, but pulled through a first half lead.
Ekpai scored the solitary goal of the contest with eight minutes to the break after a sweeping move.
The Nigerian club were peppered by Vita Club for longer spells and would have their goalkeeper Olufemi Kayode to thank for his agility, jump power and sharp reflexes between the sticks.
However, there was late drama inside the Stade Municipal de Pointe-Noire when Akwa United defender Samuel Okon was sent off.
The numerical disadvantage was not enough to deny The Promise Keepers a winning start in their first appearance in a Caf club competition.
Akwa United will play hosts to Vita Club at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, also known as the Nest of Champions, in Uyo.