By Albert Akota with agency report
Ahead of their second tie against ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire, the rank and file of Nigeria’s flag bearers in the CAF Champions League, Lobi Stars admit a herculean task awaits them in Abidjan.
While Lobi Stars grabbed a vital 2-1 in their Group A opener against Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa; ASEC suffered a damning 5-2 away loss to Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco consequently there would be fireworks at Houphouet Boigny Stadium on Saturday when they both sides clash in another Group A encounter.
“We know ASEC are a very good side and we can’t judge them with the loss against Wydad,” Lobi Stars’ new recruit from Enyimba, Oluwadamilare Ojo who was picked as man-of-the match against Mamelodi Sundowns told CAFOnline.com.
“I felt great with my first CAF Champions League match for Lobi Stars because it wasn’t easy coming into a new team and adapting to the tactics of the coach.
“Though we respect ASEC because of their pedigree and being former winner of the CAF Champions League, we would ensure we return Abidjan with a positive result.”
Incidentally, very few Nigerian clubs have come out alive at the Houphouet Boigny Stadium with Enyimba being a notable exemption when they spanked ASEC Mimosas 2-0 at the same venue on their way to winning the prestigious continental cup trophy in 2003.
“There are no small teams in the group and we are still the underdogs because the other three teams namely ASEC, Wydad and Sundowns are past winners of the CAF Champions League,” explained Lobi Stars’ trainer, Solomon Ogbeide.
“We haven’t won anything yet but we can now build on the victory against Mamelodi Sundowns to focus on the next game against ASEC.
“We have a good spirit; and remains positive going for the next away game against ASEC and we are going to take the game to them in Abidjan,” noted Ogbeide.
Speaking in the same vein, defender Solomon Kwambe described the 2-1 win against Mamelodi Sundowns as vital in their bid for the continental glory.
“We feel so excited over the victory over Mamelodi Sundowns because they are a very good side with tactical discipline,” stressed the 25-year-old defender who came on as a second half substitute for John Lazarus against the Brazilians.
“But we stuck with our match plans and we are happy it worked for us.”
Elsewhere, Sundowns plays host to Wydad in the other Group A match at the Lucas ‘Masterpieces’ Moripe Stadium in Pretoria, also on Saturday.