05 April 2018 10:56
It seems certain to be a battle of might and wits when Bidvest hosts Enyimba play-off first leg on Friday in Johannesburg.
Yet, Oluwadamilare Ojo believes the pedigree of Enyimba nicknamed ‘Peoples’ Elephants’ would be enough to crush the Clever Boys as Bidvest Wits are known even in front of their home fans.
“Nigerian teams always have an edge over South African teams even at the national team level,” began 24-year-old Ojo who incidentally scored with a rocket-like shot in Enyimba 2-1 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns in the mini-league stage of the 2016 CAF Champions League.
“Though South Africans usually play tactically, we play physical game and that is the key if we are going to overcome Bidvest. I recognised the fact that they are called Clever Boys but we are also called the Elephants and you know what elephants do; we can certainly crush Bidvest,” noted Ojo.
Speaking further, Ojo said Enyimba are well motivated since they have yet to win the Confederation Cup despite their rich pedigree as the only Nigerian club to have won a continental trophy at the turn of the century following their CAF Champions League double in 2003 and 2004.
“It's true Enyimba has not won the CAF Confederation Cup but we are determined more than ever and I believe with the calibre of players in our team we can go all the way.
“With all modesty, I think Enyimba has the best collection of experienced players in the NPFL( Nigeria Professional Football League) and that's why it would be hard for me to pick one player as the joker against Bidvest.
“The difference between Enyimba and many other teams is the quest for success always; and that is why they are always recruiting top coaches and good players,” Ojo added.
This term Enymba has enlisted the services of experienced coach Paul Aigbogun in what's his third spell with the club and Ojo considered this as an added advantage.
“Coach Aigbogun has brought a lot of changes into the team and I'm happy to reunite with him because I've worked under him before. Aigbogun is a good tactician and he's a kind of coach that does not want to loose a game; and he's imparting this into our style of play.”
Last month, Enyimba started their campaign in the second-tier continental club championship with an impressive 5-2 aggretae win over Energie of Benin.
“Enyimba is one of the big teams from Nigeria and I think we demonstrated that in the last round by beating Energie home and away despite the fact that they were a strong team,” noted Ojo who switched to Enyimba from modest Sunshine Stars of Akure.
“With such fighting spirit and character, we can crush Bidvest Wits. Though we don't know so much yet about Bidvest and it is not easy playing away matches on the continent, we are going to take the game to Bidvest,” Ojo stated.
Meanwhile, the second leg of this tie would be played in a fortnight and aggregate winner qualifying to the lucrative mini-league stage.
Friday, 6 April 2018
Bidvest (South Africa) vs Enyimba (Nigeria)
CF Mounana (Gabon) vs El Masry (Egypt)
Rayon Sports (Rwanda) vs Costa do Sol (Mozambique)
Saturday, 7 April 2018
Zanaco (Zambia) vs Raja Club Athletic (Morocco)
AS Vita (DR Congo) vs CS la Mancha (Congo)
Saint George (Ethiopia) vs CARA (Congo)
UD Songo (Mozambique) vs Hilal Obeid (Sudan)
Plateau United (Nigeria) vs USM Alger (Algeria)
Young Africans (Tanzania) vs Wolaitta Dicha (Ethiopia)
Generation Foot (Senegal) vs RS Berkane (Morocco)
Williamsville (Cote d’Ivoire) vs Niefang (Equatorial Guinea)
Sunday, 8 April 2018
El Hilal (Sudan) vs Akwa United (Nigeria)
Gor Mahia (Kenya) vs Supersport (South Africa)
Aduana (Ghana) vs Fosa Juniors (Madagascar)
ASEC Mimosas (Cote d’Ivoire) vs CR Belouizdad (Algeria)
MFM (Nigeria) vs Djoliba (Mali)