Anaemena rallies Enyimba against Energie
15 March 2018 09:35
Enyimba are desirous of continental glory one again after their unprecedented feat in 2003 when they became the first Nigerian side to win the CAF Champions League trophy, and making a successful defence in 2004.
Meanwhile, defender Ifeanyi Anaemena has been a central figure in the team since 2016 when they shockingly exited the CAF Champions League in the first round. Against the background of a 2-0 away win in the Total CAF Confederation Cup round of 1/16th at the expense of Energie of Benin last week, the 26-year-old who doubles as captain is confident Enyimba will complete a double against their guest this weekend at the U. J Esuene Stadium in Calabar, to reach the playoff round. Below are excerpts of the interview with CAFOnline.com;
Cafonline.com: Enyimba beat Energie 2-0 away in the first leg; does it make the second leg easier?
Ifeanyi Anaemena: We are not thinking that way; rather we have intensified our training and preparation because we know football can be funny. There is nothing like an easy match. We know Energie can bounce back but it is our responsibility to show that the first leg result was no fluke.
We are a team that plays to win but we are not getting carried away because we won the first leg away from home 2-0. Our focus is to win but if we have the opportunity we can even score more goals. The most important thing for us is to win our match and achieve to the next round.
How difficult has it been playing your home matches in Calabar away from your traditional stadium in Aba?
We feel very much at home in Calabar because we have been playing our home matches here for the past three seasons. The good thing is that our supporters cut across Nigeria and we have solid support from the fans here in Calabar and its environs. Most of our fans in Aba come for our games; so we have the support of everyone.
Enyimba has not won any trophy lately on the continent, how well can this present team break the jinx?
It is true that Enyimba has not won an African title recently but it's our determination to do well this year in the Total CAF Confederation Cup. We have started well with that good first leg result against Energie. We want to continue with that good performance in our subsequent matches. Our focus now is the weekend match against Energie and after that we can think of the next round.
How has the collective nature and team spirit influenced your performances during games?
It would be wrong to say we want to rely on one player or the other. We are a team and we all have to contribute our best towards the success of the team. I'm not indispensable as the captain in the team, everybody in the team is important and that is the strength of this Enyimba squad. It’s our determination to do well as a team.
How do you motivate your teammates in difficult times?
The good thing with Enyimba is that we have so much experienced players who are self-motivated and this is a great plus for the team. Any one of us could have been appointed as the captain and this makes my job easier as the captain of the team.
When did you join Enyimba and what attracted you?
I was fascinated with the success of the team when I was growing up. It was my desire as an Ibo to play for any of the traditional big teams from the Eastern part of Nigeria; so I was happy to join Enyimba from Giwa FC in 2015. It was a dream come true for me and I would be happy to lead the team to many great honours.
Friday, 16 March 2018
Supersport (South Africa) vs Atletico (Angola) (0-0)
Ahly Shendi (Sudan) vs CS la Mancha (Congo) (0-3)
Saturday, 17 March 2018
APR (Rwanda) vs Djoliba (Mali) (0-1)
Hilal Obied (Sudan) vs Olympic (Burundi) (0-0)
Nkana (Zambia) vs CR Belouizdad (Algeria) (0-3)
El Masry (Egypt) vs Simba (Tanzania) (2-2)
Club Africain (Tunisia) vs RS Berkane (Morocco) (1-3)
Nouadhibou (Mauritania) vs Raja Athletic Club (Morocco) (1-1)
Sunday, 18 March 2018
Cape Town City (South Africa) vs Costa do Sol (Mozambique) (1-0)
Enyimba (Nigeria) vs Energie (Benin) (2-0)
Fosa Juniors (Madagascar) vs Port Louis (Mauritius) (2-0)
USM Alger (Algeria) vs AS Maniema (DR Congo) (2-2)
Deportivo Niefang (Equatorial Guinea) vs Motema Pembe (DR Congo) (1-1)
Akwa United (Nigeria) vs Al Ittihad (Libya) (0-1)
Ben Guerdane (Tunisia) vs CARA (Congo) (0-3)
Zamalek (Egypt) vs Wolaitta Dicha (Ethiopia) (1-2)
Anaemena rallies Enyimba against Energie
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