Monday, April 15, 2024

Attack, attack… Enyimba seek quarterfinal ticket in Abidjan

Enyimba’s Coach, Fatai Osho believes his team’s hope of getting anything out of Abidjan, where they will face San Pedro in their Confederation Cup last group game, is by taking the game to the home team.

Enyimba are on seven points and need only a draw to make the quarterfinals alongside group leaders, Hassania Agadir of Morocco. But Osho knows that playing for a draw could hand the Ivoirians the impetus to hurt Enyimba’s ambitions.

Speaking before leaving for Abidjan, Osho said, “we will play to win the game, but if it ends in a draw, no problem.

“We will not take the Ivoirians for granted, even though they have already been eliminated from the competition.

Morocco’s Hassania Agadir are guaranteed top spot in Group D after amassing 11 points from five games, while Ivoirian torchbearers San Pedro, on three points, are out of contention. Enyimba have seven points and Algerian debutants Paradou are on five, with either side in contention for the group’s other ticket.

Paradou are away at Agadir.

Enyimba will qualify if they avoid defeat, as a draw will raise their tally to eight points, the maximum Paradou could reach if they emerge winners over Hassania Agadir.

But the head-to-head rule will favour Enyimba in that case. A 1-0 defeat to Paradou in Blida was followed by a 4-1 victory for the former African champions in Aba, meaning they have the aggregate advantage over the Algerians. Paradou will hope for victory over group leaders Agadir coupled with Enyimba defeat in San Pedro to reach the quarterfinals in their maiden continental campaign.

Nigeria’s second entrant in the competition, Enugu Rangers, who have already been eliminated from the event, have nothing but pride to play for when they take on Al-Masry at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.

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Rangers beat another Egyptian side, Pyramids FC, 1-0 in Cairo last weekend. But that was merely consolatory, as they had been eliminated before that game.

Rangers head into today’s fixture in third place, having accumulated five points from an equal amount of matches.

Al-Masry are on nine points having won three of their five matches.

The Egyptian’s beat Rangers 4-2 in the reverse fixture played at Alexandria Stadium two months ago. Al-Masry were 4-0 up before two late goals in the final two minutes restored some respectability to the scoreline for the visitors.

signaturetv.org/guardian/IJM

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