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Caf Champions League: Enyimba and Kano Pillars go for broke to stay in contention

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Caf Champions League: Enyimba and Kano Pillars go for broke to stay in contention

The Nigerian flag bearers still have all their hard work to accomplish in the Caf inter-club second leg

The two teams representing Nigeria in the Caf Champions League, Enyimba and Kano Pillars take on Rahimo and Asante Kotoko respectively on Sunday.

While Enyimba have to upturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg in Ouagadougou, Pillars must do all they can to protect their slim 3-2 advantage secured at home in Kano.

Indeed, none of the two games involving the Nigerian teams looks easy as Sai Masu Gida will have to contend with the vociferous crowd expected at Baba Yara Stadium, Kumasi while Enyimba have been condemned to play behind-closed-doors, a development that has significantly reduced their home ground advantage.

Neither Pillars nor Enyimba were satisfied with their first leg results as the managers of the two teams alluded to mistakes which they have both promised to correct in Sunday’s games.

“It’s not a good result for us but at the same time it’s not catastrophic because if we had lost by two goals or three then it would be a difficult situation,” the Enyimba coach said in his post-match assessment after the first leg defeat.

“The goal came with a deflection. We could have saved that goal but now we have to go back to Aba and cancel the goal and [we] 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.”

The People’s Elephant are making their 10th appearance in the Caf Champions League and they have never exited the competition in the preliminary round. 

For coach Ibrahim Musa, even though a draw will be enough for his team to sail through to the next round, he has declared he would be pushing for a win in Kumasi against the Porcupines.

“We are preparing massively to come to Ghana and beat them on Sunday because my team is doing well and I trust them,” Musa told Kumasi FM in Ghana.

“I will come to Ghana and play good football to qualify.

“We conceded two set-pieces goals-against Kotoko and we are working on them before we come to Ghana.”

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Pillars are making a sixth appearance in the Champions League and have only failed to make it past the preliminary stage once in 2014.

Aside from shooting themselves with the non-completion of registration formalities for four of their first-team players, there are no fresh injury worries for Pillars going into the Sunday tie.

For Enyimba, it is expected more of their summer acquisitions will get a chance against Rahimo having been benched in the first leg.

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