… Aba club face Orlando Pirates, Es Setif, Ahli
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Super Eagles team coordinator, Patrick Pascal, has cautioned the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side, Enyimba of Aba, not to underestimate any team during their CAF Confederation Cup (CC) Group campaign.
Enyimba, who are seeking to make history as the first Nigerian club to win the competition, were pitted against South Africa’s Orlando Pirates, Tunisia’s ES Setif and Ahli Benghazi of Libya in Group A in a draw in Cairo yesterday.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP Sports shortly after the draw, Pascal, who is also the chairman of Bauchi State Football Association (BAFA) called on all Nigerians to support the Peoples Elephant in their quest to make the nation proud in the continent.
“Enyimba should not underestimate any of the teams because they are no more minors when it comes to football in Africa. They should take every match seriously, knowing fully well that they are only Nigeria representatives in the continent,” Pascal warned.
Fatai Osho’s men edged out fellow Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) rivals Rivers United on penalties after a 1-1 aggregate score lines from the two ties to book their place in the lucrative stage of the competition.
Enyimba and Setif have won the CAF Champions League twice each and Pirates once while Benghazi did well to reach the last 16 as they cannot play at home for security reasons.
Meanwhile, title-holders Renaissance Berkane of Morocco are in Group B with JS Kabylie of Algeria, Coton Sport of Cameroon and NAPSA Stars of Zambia.
Berkane edged Pyramids of Egypt 1-0 in the 2020 final and hoped to become the first of five Moroccan winners of the competition to successfully defend the title.
There were two Tunisian teams in Group C provided Etoile Sahel got past Young Buffaloes of eSwatini in a delayed second leg having established a 2-1 aggregate lead in the southern African kingdom.
The winners will join record three-time Confederation Cup winners CS Sfaxien of Tunisia and two west African contenders, Salitas of Burkina Faso and ASC Jaraaf of Senegal.
Raja Casablanca of Morocco and Pyramids are in Group D with Nkana of Zambia, who have never lost at home in 64 CAF matches, and the winners between Namungo of Tanzania and Primeiro Agosto of Angola.