Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Wednesday in Cairo, Egypt paired NPFL champions Plateau United against Algerian side USM Alger in the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup playoff round.
Plateau United won their first NPFL title last season and qualified for the 2018 CAF Champions League. The Jos based club side knocked out Cameroonian champions Eding FC 4-0 on aggregate in the preliminary round but their journey in the CAF elite club competition was cut short by Etoile Du Sahel at the weekend in Kano.
The NPFL champions lost the first leg 4-2 in Sousse and failed to scored two goals at their adopted home in Kano. A solitary goal by Tosin Omoyele in the 2nd leg was not enough to help the Jos side progress to the group stage of the Champions League as they got demoted to the Confederation Cup.
Plateau United will host their Algerian opponent in the first leg of the two legged fixture next month and Tosin Omoyele who has scored two continental goals for his team this season says he is optimistic the NPFL champions will survive the North African hurdle this time.
“I welcome this challenge against another North African side. We’ve been given another opportunity by CAF to prove our team quality” said Omoyele in a chat with Naijafootballplus.com
“I think we were unlucky against Etoile, we scored two away goals and we couldn’t score more than one at home despite dominating the game.
“We have learnt a huge lesson from the game against Etoile, it’s painful we couldn’t progress to the Champions League group stage which was our initial target when we emerged NPFL champions last year.
“We appreciate the life line to play in the Confederation Cup and we have put beside us the disappointment against Etoile.”
The Plateau United striker also added that the lessons learnt from their ouster from the CAF Champions League will be put to great use in playing the upcoming Confederation Cup matches.
“We are looking forward to this tough stage of the competition, we’ll translate the lessons learnt into positives.
“We have to fight and battle for our pride as the champions of Nigeria, we have to make our sponsor (Plateau State Government) and our fans happy.
“Work will begin immediately, we have just a few days to the first leg in Nigeria and I hope we get to play the game in Jos,” said Omoyele to Naijafootballplus.com