This weekend is a decisive one for the remaining two Nigerian clubs in this year’s CAF club competitions as Enyimba FC and Enugu Rangers are faced with must win matches.
While Enyimba are away to Al Hilal of Sundan in the second leg of the First Round of the CAF Champions League, Rangers are at home against Gabonese side, A.S Pelicans in the Confederation Cup.
In the first leg on September 15, Enyimba were held to 0-0 draw in Aba by ten-man Al Hilal while Rangers lost 2-1 in Libreville.
Consequently, why Rangers must win in Enugu, Enyimba must get at least a scored draw in Omdurman to stand any chance of moving to the next round.
Although Rangers may be banking on their away goal to turn the table against their opponents, the ‘peoples elephants’ don’t have such lifeline.
As dicey as this weekend’s ties are, the Nigerian representatives in the continent are still confident of victory.
Enyimba goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai told Trust Sports that victory in Omdurman is possible.
He said Enyimba’s assignment against Al Hilal would have been more difficult if they ended the first leg in a scored draw.
“We are going to face Al Hilal with confidence because the race is 50-50. Our first match ended 0-0 so if you ask me, we are having the upper hand.
“All we need to do is to score against our opponents and the pendulum will swing in our favour. We are a team that is motivated to do the job,” he assured.
For Rangers midfielder, Tony Msonter Shimaga, there is no hiding place for the Pelicans of Gabon at the ‘Cathedral’ in Enugu.
He said the result in the first leg didn’t reflect the performance of Rangers.
“We didn’t deserve to lose in Libreville. Our opponents struggled to cope with us but in the end, we lost narrowly.
“Our aim is to move to the next round so there will be no place for Pelicans to hide. We are ready to handle all their antics.
“Since we reached the group stage last year, we should be thinking of reaching the finals this year,” he said.