Nigeria’s continental flag bearers, Enyimba resume their Nigerian record seeking adventure on Sunday when the quarter –finals of the CAF Confederation Cup begins.
Even though after the draw was made, Enyimba were easily tipped as favourites against the Rwandan side. But that is on paper. In modern football where upsets have become very common, Enyimba are not leaving any to chances.
Top scorer, Mfon Udoh who two seasons ago fond the net nine times to become the 2016 CAF Champions league hot shot has told CAFonline that the Aba Elephants will put their sumo weight on the lesser-known Rayon Sports.
The player whose 23 goals in the 2013/14 Nigerian league ranks him as the top scorer is revving to see Enyimba become the first Nigerian side to win the Confederation Cup which has eluded the country since the competition began 14 years ago.
The Aba sides were trail-brailers as first Nigerian side to win the CAF Champions league in 2003 and again winning in the next season before taking a long break.
But a confident-looking Udoh says he’s nearing his best again, adding opposing teams can only write him off at their peril as the second-tier continental club championship reaches the knockout stages.
“We have done well so far by reaching the quarter finals. The fact that I have not scored so far in this competition shows the kind of quality we have in Enyimba,” the 26-year old explained to CAFonline
“I’m trying as much as I can to regain my fitness; I’m coming back stronger and I’m ready to give my best to the team always.
“I want to contribute my quota towards the success of the team in this competition and hopefully I can start scoring against Rayon Sports,” Udoh told CAFOnline.com.
Below are excerpts of his interview;
CAFOnline.com: How do you rate the performance of Enyimba thus far in the Total CAF Confederation Cup?
Mfon Udoh: So far, so good. The fact that we have reached the quarter-final means we have made good progress in the campaign but we are not going to rest yet. We have played a number of tough matches right from the first round and through to the league stage. It has been a good experience and we believe we can go far after getting to the quarter finals.
Goals have been rare to find for Enyimba. What do you think has accounted for that?
The most important thing is winning and getting the points. Other teams also want to win, and the matches are not easy sometimes. That we were able to even score almost at the end of the match in our last two matches (against Djoliba and CARA) was an indication that we often play to win. We keep working hard all the time and scoring goals towards the end of matches is a reward for our effort.
Do you think Enyimba has the capacity to go all the way?
It is our dream to make history as the first Nigerian team to win the CAF Confederation Cup; and we are working hard so that we can be the set of players that achieve this dream with Enyimba. The fact that we are surviving Nigerian club in this year’s continental club championship speaks well about us. We know we have to work extremely hard from this stage of the competition. It will be tough starting from the quarter because it is a knockout stage.
How do you fancy the chances of Enyimba in the quarter finals against Rayon Sports of Rwanda?
As I said earlier, there is no second chance at this stage because it’s the knockout stage. The good thing is that we won’t underrate any team; all the teams in the quarter finals are very strong and we don’t expect Rayon Sport to give us an easy passage. We must be ready for tough games over the two legs (home and away).
What impact will playing at the renovated stadium in Aba have on your chances?
We have good support in Aba as was evident during our last home match against CARA Brazzaville. Our fans turned out well and cheered us all the way. It is great we are back in Aba and I believe the fans will give us good support against Rayon Sports. On the field, we shall do our best and we know the fans will be there for us in the second leg.