We are condemned to beat Rahimo FC, says Abd’Allah
Enyimba Coach, Usman Abd’Allah went into the CAF Champions League match against Rahimo FC of Burkina Faso not knowing what to expect from the Burkinabe champions. Although the Peoples Elephant had scouted the team and seen some of their clips, going to Ouagadougou was like a journey into the unknown.
Rahimo FC is not among the best-known clubs from Burkina Faso, not to talk of the CAF Champions League. But Enyimba still respe4cted them because they felt the team must be good to come thus far in CAF’s elite championship.
At the end of the first leg fixture, Enyimba lost 0-1, which means they have to win by two clear goals in Aba to progress in the competition they have won two times before.
Speaking on the tie and his club’s ambition this term, Abd’Allah acknowledged that it would have been better if Enyimba had avoided defeat in Ouagadougou, adding, however, that the situation is redeemable.
“It is not a good result for us but at the same time, it is not catastrophic because if we had lost by two goals or three then it would be a difficult situation.
“As you know, we are all starting and results are always this way until we get ourselves into the competition where we get much fitter.”
He praised Rahimo FC for giving Enyimba a run for their money adding with time, the Burkinabe will be a strong force in African football.
“They have a youthful and young team with very good mobility and good techniques and they are very fit.
“The goal came in with a deflection. We could have saved that goal but now we have to go back to Aba and cancel the goal and have to get another one more goal to seal the deal.
“We’ve seen the team now so the most important thing is to go back, sit down and work with what we’ve seen of the team,” he enthused.
In the first leg match played at the Stade du 4 Août in Ouagadougou, Issouf Zanon’s deflected effort on the half-hour made all the difference as the hosts maximised their early dominance to secure a vital win.
The Nigerians hardly got off the block and were severally besieged by the dangerous duo of Zanon and Mody Cisse, with the former forcing Theophilus Afelokhai to a save after eight minutes.
Afelokhai again denied the lively number nine from close range before Cisse struck the base of the upright with a well-taken effort.
Stanley Dimgba and Martins Usule, at the other end, combined beautifully inside the box but were prevented by a timely clearance.
The hosts eventually took the lead on the half-hour when Zanon dribbled into the box before releasing and effort that took a wicked deflection of Ifeanyi Anaemena into the net.
With the introduction of Jean-Marie Guera and Victor Mbaoma, Enyimba pressed higher after the restart but chances were few and far between as the hosts displayed defensive doggedness to see off the contest.
The return fixture will be decided at the Enyimba Stadium in a fortnight.
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