Two-time CAF Champions League winners, Enyimba will on Wednesday seek to redeem their battered image when they battle Al-Merreikh of Sudan in the second leg at the Aba Stadium.
It will be recalled the Sudanese took the Nigerians to the cleaners in the first leg of the elite competition with Saif Terry’s hat-trick handing Didier Gomes Da Rosa’s side a commanding 3-0 first-leg triumph inside Al-Merrikh Stadium in Omdurman.
Enyimba will need to score at least four unreplied goals to see them qualify for the money-spinning group stage of the competition, while a loss will see them drop into the playoff round of the CAF Confederation Cup.
A 3-0 victory for Enyimba after 90 minutes would take the tie straight to a penalty shootout, but if Al-Merreikh scores just a goal, the Aba Warriors will need five goals to make it to the next round.
Speaking with the club’s media officer, Zazi Bariza, he said the boys are motivated to overturn the deficit tomorrow and move to the next round.
“The boys believe they are not out yet. They thrive with the optimism and believe they can make it to the next round,” he said.
Speaking further, the club expressed its disappointment at their opponents who claimed the hosts are employing underhand tactics to demoralize them ahead of the game while urging CAF to stand a stand against such developments.
It will be recalled that Sudanese side arrived Nigeria on Sunday through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and departed for Aba, venue of their encounter with the two-time African champions, by road.
However, the visiting side was said to have reported Enyimba to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) over their refusal to provide a flight for the team to Aba from Lagos.\
“On our side as a club, we are deeply disappointed by the statement from the Sudanese. When we went to Sudan, we were well received and we made it very clear and open that we were appreciative of the reception with the promise to reciprocate.
“When I heard the statement, I was alarmed as it was detrimental to African football and I think CAF should take a stand as these stories that are coming out from African football flagship competition, he said.
This will be the second time the Nigerian side will be looking to overturn a deficit in Champions League.
Enyimba suffered a 4-1 loss away to ASEC Mimosas of the Ivory Coast in a 2002 qualifier and a 3-1 home victory was insufficient to avoid elimination.