Two time African champion, Enyimba Fc of Aba are definitely convinced to qualify for the second round of this year’s CAF Champions League when they visit Vital’O of Burundi in the second leg of the second round qualifiers for the lucrative league.
When both sides met last Sunday at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt, the People’s Elephant recorded an emphatic 5-1 victory over the East Africans, making today’s return leg a mere formality.
The match to be decided at the 22,000 capacity Prince Louis Rwagasore, Stadium, Bujumbura will see the host try to upturn the four goals deficit while Enyimba who are not new to the continental challenge will aim to consolidate on the victory to show that their victory in the first leg was no fluke.
While the Burundians will be counting on their top striker, Hussein Shaban who netted their consolation goal a week ago to salvage some points for them, the Nigerians who won the title in 2003 and 2004 respectively will be counting on Stephen Chukwude and in-form Mfon Udoh who both scored a brace in the first leg as well as Leonard Chukwu to wrap up the game in Bujumbura. Although this match could be described as a formality game considering the large goal margin recorded by Enyimba in the first leg but it is necessary the team avoids underrating their opponents since the East African side who has won its country’s league a record 19 times is capable of causing an upset in today’s cracker.
It is true that the Burundian side whose best record in the continental show piece was a second round elimination in the 1999 and 2000 editions will have an uphill task cancelling goals they conceded in the first leg.
As Nigerians see Enyimba’s progress to the next round of the championship as a foregone conclusion, the same could not be said of the country’s other representative, Warri Wolves who are almost out of the competition. Wolves last Sunday at the Warri Township Stadium, lost by 0-1 to visiting El Merriekh of Sudan in the first leg and would be counting on mother luck to see them through. The Seasider’s who are making their second appearance in the competition after their elimination in the round of 16 in their maiden appearance in 2010 will be having an uphill task upturning the one goal deficit considering that their opponent out played them in every department of the game in the first leg. However, not minding the precarious situation the Warri based sides found its self.
Nigeria’s only remaining team in the second tier competition; Nasarawa United will be up against CS Constantine of Algeria in their second leg encounter. Although, the Lafia based side goes into today’s encounter with a slim 1-0 lead, the Solid Miners striker, Shammah Paul Tanze is optimistic that they have what it takes to get a favourable result to progress to the next round of the championship.