Crunch day in Benghazi as Al Ahli host Enyimba
Enyimba of Aba go into today’s penultimate CAF Confederation Cup tie against hosts, Al Ahli Benghazi, knowing that they need at least a draw to enhance their chances of qualifying for the knock-out stage of the competition.
Enyimba are currently second on Group A table with six points from four matches, two behind leaders, Orlando Pirates, and two above third-placed Al Ahli.
A win or draw will set up the people’s Elephant for the final game of the group stage against Entente Setif of Algeria, who beat them 3-0 the last time out.
Enyimba, who beat Al Ahli 2-1 in the first leg in Aba, believe the game in Libya would be better than their adventure in Setif, as many of their stars, who missed that game are back on board.
Having overcome their travel hassles, the team arrived in Sudan on Tuesday brimming with confidence. But there are concerns about the fitness of Imoh Obot, Sadiq Abubakar, and Hassan Abubakar. According to Enyimba media, central defender Nelson Ogbonnaya and striker Samad Kadiri, who picked knocks on matchday, three have failed to recover in time, while Farouk Mohammed who served a one-match suspension on matchday four, Victor Mbaoma, Dayo Ojo, and Jean-Marie Guera add to the swelling injury list.
However, Stephen Manyo and Orok Gabriel make the trip having missed the fixture in Setif last weekend.
Enyimba coach, Fatai Osho, told the club’s website, “We are approaching the crunch time now, we really need the points on the road to slow down our opponents and gain momentum of our own and put ourselves in a very good position to pick a ticket.
“Anything short of that in Benghazi will be a complete disaster. I can assure you that you will see a complete departure from what we experienced in Setif, in as much as there are little challenges, we will see what we can do to get a result,” Osho said.
The game will start at 10.00 p.m. Nigerian time at the Martyrs of February Stadium in Benghazi.
South Africa’s Orlando Pirates, following their goalless draw against Setif on Wednesday, currently top Group A with nine points from five matches, three points ahead of second-place Enyimba. Setif are a further point behind in third-place, while the Libyans are bottom of the four-team rung with four points.
A win tonight for Enyimba will ensure qualification to the knockout rounds for both the Nigerian champions and Orlando Pirates.
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