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Afelokhai cautiously optimistic as Enyimba confront Rayon Sports


[FILE] Enyimba during a training

There is the tendency for a home team to see a drawn away game as an already concluded tie, even when the second and decisive leg has not been played. In some cases, though, the home team has lived to regret not paying much attention to its preparation for the return leg when the damage had already been done.

That is the fate Enyimba goalkeeper, Theophilus Afelokhai, does not want his team to suffer in the CAF Confederation Cup tie against Rayon Sports of Rwanda today. He told during the week that although Enyimba got a good result against Rayon Sports in Kigali last week, the deal is not yet done. He wants everybody, including players and management, to get ready for a Rayon Sports team that would throw everything at them because they have nothing to lose.

Afelokhai, who has been a revelation in this year’s CAF Confederation Cup, supplanting Super Eagles’ star, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Black Stars’ Fatau Daoudu as Enyimba’s number one goalkeeper, added: “My dream is to win, at least, a continental cup with Enyimba. I’ll do my best to be part of history and win the Confederation Cup.

“We had a good match in Kigali against Rayon Sports and the result was okay; but we must overcome Rayon Sports in Aba so that we can qualify for the semi-finals.”Afelokhai, who revealed that he is motivated by Enyimba’s size and achievements in Africa, said: “I want to be remembered here at Enyimba as one of the club’s great goalkeepers. I also want to emulate my hero, Vincent Enyeama.

The performance of the goalkeeper, who stands out with his size 45 boots, has raised questions over the criteria adopted in choosing national team goalkeepers. But, he is not worried by his continued neglect by the Super Eagles. Rather, he is bothered by today’s game against Rayon Sports, saying all hands must be on deck to see Enyimba through.

“We know the second leg encounter will not be easy against Rayon Sports but we are going to do our best to ensure we qualify for the semi-finals. Of course, I will do my best with all my heart and we know all that is at stake.

We believe the God that has brought us to this point will help us qualify for the semifinals.” Rayon Sports’ 40-member delegation arrived in Nigeria on Thursday aboard an RwandAir. The delegation includes 19 players, the technical staff, members of the club’s executive committee, four journalists and select fans.

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