Some info filtered in about our Sunday’s opponents; Buffles du Borgou FC of Benin Republic. (The number of times I’ve ‘copied and pasted’ their name just because I’ve still been unable to learn to spell it is uncountable).
The average African Club side poses very physical players with a good mix of technical ones. Sunday’s opponents are no different. Strong, compact, disciplined with some technical players. Their handler is the Benin National team assistant coach and he is well versed in Continental duels even though his last mission saw his side knocked out of the Group stage of the last Under-20 tournament.
So whether he is as good as he is made up to be or not, we better not underestimate them. In other words, we are expecting an opposition that will be set up to stifle us very well. Deny you space and time on the ball and when they get the chance, they have technical players who can hurt you. As we saw in the just concluded AFCON, that’s just what Africa serves. For us here we may not play good possession football and trickery but we make up with strength and physicality. This is however different from the Northern teams who have their own effective style but whichever style works depends on which teams play their own game more efficiently.
It’s just like our 2003 CAF Champions League campaign. The Egyptians hammered us 6-1 at home in the Group stage but in the finals when we met them again, we had done our homework well. They needed a 2-0 victory to beat us in that two-legged final (after we had beat them 2-0 in Aba) but we couldn’t afford them chance to score. They only got their goal in the 27th minute through a penalty but we held them off well. So you can see that it’s not really about which style of play is better but which team effectively uses theirs.
We are facing what looks like an everyday Premier League Team so when Kadiri Ikhana warns here that he still doesn’t think his strikers have arrived, that makes perfect sense. They will set up to ensure they don’t concede and to get an away goal if they can so we must start early. Chances must be taken when they come, no mistakes, no stories. We can make the job in two weeks lot easier for ourselves if we handle this task at hand well on Sunday.
So who does the job for us? like we announced yesterday, Mfon Udoh is back but it would be a miracle if we see him lined up on Sunday. Having him in the team automatically means goals but he most likely won’t play. However I believe we have sufficient quality to get the job done with what we have been training with. We can then unleash the Mfon surprise when we play them in two weeks. Let’s work and hope and pray, we should go through.
That’s your lot today guys, have a wahala free Thursday,
Again I ask, who needs an Enyimba replica jersey?