Enyimba will chase an upset win over hosts Raja Casablanca when they meet for the second leg of their 2018 CAF Confederation Cup semifinal tie today at Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca.
The Moroccan side come into the match holding all the cards: not only will they have home advantage, but they also boast a 1-0 lead from the first leg at the Enyimba International Stadium in Aba on October 3.
Abdelilah Hafidi scored the only goal of the game as the Green Eagles secured a vital victory. They are looking to advance into their first continental final since winning the CAF Cup (the predecessor to the Confederation Cup) back in 2003.
The People’s Elephant will have the odds stacked against them as they chase a first CAF club final since winning the Champions League for the second successive year back in 2004.
Enyimba goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai, who has recently shaken off an injury, stresses that the Nigerian side need to keep their determination in Casablanca.
“I have fully recovered and I have been training without issues for the past few days now. It was important that I was rested for the game with Kano Pillars and it has allowed me to recover fully,” the shot-stopper explained
“We are all working towards the same target which is to ensure that we surprise our opponents in the second leg. We are not deterred by our first leg result and we are all focused on the same goal which is to secure a positive result that will take us to the final in Casablanca next week.”
Raja coach Juan Carlos Garrido says his team will have to put up another strong performance to secure a place in the final.
“We knew the strength and weaknesses of Enyimba before the game and we set our tactics to reflect that,” said Garrido after the first leg.
He added, “We have to play another very organised match and beef up the team to ensure that we play very well if we have to qualify for the next round.”
Gabonese referee Eric Otogo-Castane will take charge of the match in Casablanca. The aggregate winners will advance into next month’s final against either Egypt’s Al Masry or DR Congo giants AS Vita.