Enyimba depart for Johannesburg, Aigbogun optimistic


Two-time African champions Enyimba International will depart for Johannesburg, South Africa via Lagos on Wednesday night to honour their CAF Confederation Cup playoff first leg fixture against Bidvest Wits.

PSL champions Bidvest Wits will host Enyimba on Friday at the Milpark Stadium in Johannesburg at 8pm South African time, which is 7pm Nigerian time.

Enyimba head coach Paul Aigbogun has selected 18 players for the game on Friday. The Seven-time NPFL champions dumped out Benin Republic side Energie FC in the previous round while the PSL side dropped down from the CAF Champions League.

Aigbogun who had a short coaching stint in South Africa with Cape Town FC between 2012 and 2013 is optimistic the People’s Elephant will secure a respectable result.

“I understand the structure in the PSL and I have a background of their teams because I worked there in 2012. We are up against PSL champions and the fact they dropped down from the Champions League makes it a more interesting game,” Aigbogun said to Naijafootballplus.com.

The last time Enyimba clashed with a South African side was in 2016 against Mamelodi Sundowns in the CAF Champions League group stage. Sundowns won the first leg 2-1 in South Africa, Dare Ojo scored Enyimba’s consolation in the encounter from a beautiful long range shot while Enyimba won the second leg 3-1 in Nigeria but the result wasn’t enough to help Enyimba reach the knockout round of the competition.

“We had a great game the last time against Sundowns, we scored in South Africa and we were almost finishing up with the game but we lost concentration. We won the second leg in Port Harcourt but the result didn’t help our course at that moment.

“We have built a good history against PSL teams and I think we have the advantage. Some of the players in the game in 2016 are still with the team and that gives added advantage mentally to fight for our desired result.

“I am optimistic and the confidence is high, the boys have shown we can win away from home and the team can score goals. We have worked on a few lapses in the team, the boys are ready to play and earn a respectable result in South Africa,” he added.

The Enyimba contingent are expected to arrive South Africa in early hours on Thursday.

Photo credit: Enyimba media

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