Nigeria’s sole survivors in CAF inter-clubs competition, Enyimba are already Mali-bound hoping to come out unscathed away in Bamako in their Group C Day Five clash against Malian side Djoliba on Sunday.
Currently, in third position with six points behind Williamsville AC (seven points) and CARA Brazzaville (six points), Enyimba must grind the result against bottom-placed Djoliba, who have four points in what is seen as a cup final between the two West African sides.
“There are no two ways about it; we must avoid defeat against Djoliba on Sunday or else, our chances of progressing further in the CAF Confederation Cup might be dimmed,” Enyimba captain Ifeanyi Anaemena told CAFOnline.com
“We know they are a strong side and they need a win; but we have to motivate ourselves to be able to get a good result. A win is possible against Djoliba.”
Enyimba, nicknamed the People’s Elephant has struggled this term to meet their usual high standard that saw them conquer the continent with a successive CAF Champions League title in 2013 and 2014.
However, Anaemena admits the unusual performance is not unconnected with the hosting of their home games away from their familiar grounds in Aba which is undergoing renovation.
“It is true we have struggled in recent matches but that is all in the past; our focus now is the game on Sunday against Djoliba and we just have to do our best in Bamako before our last group game at home against CARA,” assured the 26-year-old defender.
“As you know we have not played in Aba in the last three seasons due to works at the stadium and everybody is happy it has now been completed. It was a great feeling for us to return home and train at the renovated stadium before leaving for the match against Djoliba.
“The opportunity we had training in front of our fans in Aba before our departure was an extra motivation; and we know many of our fans will be at the stadium for our final group game against CARA particularly if we beat Djoliba in Bamako.”
Sunday’s game would equally be an opportunity for Enyimba stand-in coach Usman Abdalla to consolidate his position after being named as replacement following the unexpected departure of Paul Aigbogun.
“It’ sad we went down at Williamsville in Cote d’Ivoire, but we must get up and stand shoulder high for the two upcoming games,” Abdalla reportedly said.
“We must get the result in Mali (against Djoliba) and then finish it up at home against CARA next week,” Abdallah concluded.
In the other Group C match also scheduled to hold on Sunday, CARA will host Williamsville at Stade Alphonse Massamba Debat in Brazzaville.
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