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Nigerian clubs face tricky away ties

The other remaining Nigeria representative in the continental campaign is Warri Wolves who will be home to complete the weekend of intense soccer confrontations. While…

The other remaining Nigeria representative in the continental campaign is Warri Wolves who will be home to complete the weekend of intense soccer confrontations.

While Enyimba will face Academica Petroleos de Kwanda of Angola, Heartland will slug it out with Cameroonian side Tiko United of Doula. The matches are the first leg ties of the round of sixteen for the 2009/2010 CAF soccer competitions.

Heartland playing in the money-spinning competition, left the shores of the country on Thursday with a 34-man strong contingent, to do battle with hosts, Tiko United Club in Yaounde.

The club’s Media Officer, Cajetan Nkwopara said the team is in high spirit and would therefore not leave anything to chance in their bid to ensure that they achieve their ambition.

Midfielder, Emmanuel Omodiagbe also said they are not only going for an outright victory against Tiko United of Cameroon but the players have resolved to make the nation proud by ensuring a clean slate in order to make the decisive second leg a mere formality in a fortnight.

Academica Petroleos, who were relegated from Angola’s top football league at the end of the 2007 season, will have their hands full against an Enyimba side that has garnered a lot of experience in the continent’s highest football competition, which they won twice.

Enyimba, a known name in the African football circle, will face the Soyo-based soccer side at the 10, 000 capacity Estado Imbomdeiro Stadium today.

Enyimba must beware of Petroleos’s Man Sapas, Ze Loko, Emena and goalkeeper Goliath whose brilliance could prove a hard nut for the Nigerian side to crack.

Last Sunday’s 2-0 home win over Kwara United in the Nigeria Premier League would serve as a morale booster to Enyimba to overcome their today’s foes.

The Peoples Elephant will rely on the goal scoring prowess of Daddy Bazuaye and Atanda Sakibu and the sharp reflexes of former junior international goalkeeper Chijioke Ejiogu to come out victorious in the battle of Soyo.

Both Bazuaye and Sakibu were on target when Enyimba saw off Kwara United in their league encounter in Aba.

Wolves on their part will confront the visitors, having at the back of their mind that another home draw by a Nigerian side would spell doom for the nation’s football, as a home draw had sent out Bayelsa from the Champions League race.

To this end, Coach Meinkeme Fekete parade a team that would try to give their fans something to cheer.

The other Nigerian representatives in the CAF Champions League, Bayelsa United were bundled out of the competition by Gazelle of N’Djamena in the preliminary round of the annual event.

Bayelsa, semi-finalist of the last Orange Confederation Cup, crashed out after a 2-2 home draw with the visitors, leaving the aggregate result at 3-2 in favour of Chadian side.

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