CAF Champions League: Enyimba Set To Overcome Étoile Sportive du Sahel

Enyimba players during training at Sousse in Tunisia
Enyimba players during training in Sousse, Tunisia.

Enyimba FC will be hoping for a glorious win against Étoile du Sahel in Wednesday’s CAF Champions League second leg clash at the Olympic Stadium in Sousse, Tunisia.

The Peoples Elephant as they are fondly called are the only flag bearers for Nigeria in one of Africa’s most lucrative competitions after Warri Wolves crashed out in the preliminary round to Sudanese champions Al-Merreikh.

Enyimba knows that a draw will be a comfortable result to qualify the team to the group stages of the competition having won the first leg 3-0 at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt, a fortnight ago, thanks to tournament’s goal scoring hat trick by Mfon Udoh.

It is also noteworthy that Enyimba has failed in all their away matches played in the CAF competition this season and a repeat could be disastrous against an Étoile side that will piling more pressure on the team from the blow of the whistle to the end of the match.

Defensively, the Nigerian side must avoid making silly errors considering the fact the host will be ready to capitalize on any single opportunity that comes their way.

However, with Mfon Udoh, Enyimba has a reliable striker capable of out-smarting any opposing defenders and Étoile is no exemption.

Mfon Udoh

As expected the North African club will depend on their vociferous home fans to overwhelm Enyimba coupled with the fact that they have started intimidating the away team by hurling stones and rocks at some of their players even before the start of the match.

Interestingly, Enyimba have faced more North African teams on their road to African titles but have failed to exert their supremacy over them with nine wins, ten defeats and seven draws in 26 games played. And in the process, scored 26 goals and conceded 26 times.

The match which is expected to kick-off by 7 p.m. (Nigerian time) would see the host, Étoile attempting to turn the scoreline around by scoring three goals in a bid to take the match to extra time and if possible penalties.

Meanwhile, Enyimba’s in-form striker and CAF Champions League leading goalscorer Mfon Udoh is expecting the Tunisian side to be a much tougher prospect at home than they were in Nigeria.

“It’s going to be a difficult game,” said Udoh. “Irrespective of the victory, we will give our best. We will forget the first leg and try to be up to the task.”

“When we played them in Nigeria they gave us a sign of what they are capable of so I believe that in front of their home fans, they will be quite dangerous. But if we play with a cool head, we will be victorious.

“It’s an important game for two big teams in Africa but I know we will do enough to carry the day. They will be under pressure, not us.”