CAF: Nigerian champions, Enyimba, are in pole position to reach the last eight of the 2016 Caf Champions League after their 3-0 advantage in the first leg, second round against Etoile Sportive du Sahel.
The Tunisian club will play hosts to the second leg at the Stade Olympique de Sousse this Wednesday and they will need a four-goal margin to turn things around against the two-time Caf Champions League winners.
The People’s Elephant have not reached the group stage of the Caf Champions League since 2011 when they were bundled out in the semifinal by Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca. The Nigerian side are confident they can reach the last eight following the healthy advantage ahead of Wednesday’s game in Sousse.
With a three-goal advantage, Enyimba surely look like the side that will progress into the next round of Africa’s biggest club competition but their gaffer, Paul Aigbogun, is careful not to be lulled into a false sense of complacency.
“We are ready for the game,” Aigbogun (pictured below), told supersport.com. “But the job is not yet done, so we are focused on this match.”
The Nigerian club will be without their impressive attacking winger, Joseph Osadiaye, who was booked in the game at Vital’O and then got cautioned in the reverse game against Etoile du Sahel in Port Harcourt.
However, Enyimba are not the only side that will miss influential personnel as Alaya Brigui and Ahmed Akaichi are all suspended for Etoile.
Etoile head coach, Faouzi Benzarti, has also been handed a touchline ban by Caf ahead of the game against Enyimba.
The nine-time Tunisian champions, of course, will be wary of the Caf Champions League leading scorer, Mfon Udoh, who has scored seven times including his last three goals against them in the reverse game at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt 11 days ago.
Aside the suspensions and pre-match antics of the Tunisian as claimed by Enyimba on arrival in Sousse, the match is tantalizing poised as the signature contest of the second round though Enyimba hold a three-nil advantage over the Caf Confederation Cup holders.
Whatever pans out of this decisive leg of the match, both clubs will still remain on the continent – the losing side over two legs dropping to Caf’s second tier club competition, the Confederation Cup to feature in the playoff.