CAF Champions League: Enyimba Int'l FC upbeat of chances against Al-Ahly Benghazi FC of Libya
Posted : 20 August 2023
Nigeria's representatives to the CAF Champions League and two-time winners of the competition, Enyimba International FC have departed the shores of Nigeria to Libya for a date with Ahly Benghazi FC of Libya for the first round of fixtures.
Africa Sport Network (ASN) reports that the Peoples Elephant of Aba jets out to Benghazi venue of the first leg of the CAF Champions League against the Libyan football club aboard Egypt Airline.
A statement by the team disclosed that 20 players and 11 officials departed the Murtala Muhammed international Airport, Lagos.
The Chairman of Enyimba International FC, Nwankwo Kanu admitted that although it won’t be an easy task to beat their Libyan counterpart on home soil, Enyimba would however scale through going by their level of preparedness.
“It’s my first international game with Enyimba and it’s a special outing for me.
``We are going to treat it and every other game like a cup final regardless if it is away or at home.
“It’s not going to be easy in Benghazi because there are no pushovers in this competition.
``Besides, we will be playing in front of their home fans.
“That notwithstanding, we are definitely going to give our all to ensure we come out victorious tomorrow.”
Kanu disclosed further expressed gratitude to Enyimba fans in Nigeria and across the globe for their emotional support since he took over as the club Chairman.
Kanu also expressed appreciation to Governor Alex Otti for his massive support and trust in the team even during the most difficult times.
“His Excellency Governor Alex Otti is a great football lover. His love and support for the beautiful game has been massive.
“It would certainly be instrumental to the success of Enyimba not only tomorrow but also in the near future.
“I remain grateful to his Excellency and the good people of Abia State for this show of love.”
Enyimba head coach, Finidi George will be trusting the affairs of his team with new players as some of his trusted old legs have left the club after the expiration of their contracts.
With the departure of Emeka Obioma, the league’s highest goalscorer to Esperance, Enyimba would be trusting other legs to get the goals coming.
The experienced Enyimba team are aware of the need to be focused on and off the pitch in order not to fall for the shenanigans customary with the North African teams.
“Our mantra is full concentration and once we achieve that and follow through with our game-plan, we will get a positive result,” the former Ajax winger assured.
In the same vein, Sporting Director and erstwhile Super Eagles midfielder, Ifeanyi Ekwueme expressed confidence that the reigning Nigerian League champions will get the much-needed victory against their host.
“We want to start the competition on a good note, so the team will not toy with this game. It would be taken with all seriousness, to make the return leg a formality.
“The boys are fired up following the payment of some backlog of unpaid salaries and match bonuses by Governor Alex Otti, they are in high spirit and raring to get the job done in Benghazi,” Ekwueme posited.
The contingent is expected back to Nigeria on Tuesday. The encounter which is slated to hold at the 11,000 capacity Martyrs of February Stadium will kick-off at 6pm Nigeria time on Sunday.
The reverse fixture will hold at the Godswill Akpabio international Stadium, Uyo on August 27.
The winner of the contest will face either Coton Sport Garoua of Cameroon or Cote d’Ivoire’s ASEC Mimosa in the next round.
Remo Stars, the other Nigerian flag bearers in the Champions League are also starting their campaign away from home as they face Medeama FC in Ghana.