Crunch time for the People’s Elephant as Pirates come hunting

The final chapter of the CAF Confederation Cup group phase will take center stage on Wednesday (April 28).

All eyes, especially the Algerian, Libyan and Nigerian faithful, will most certainly be on group A as the second, third and fourth placed team each stand a chance of booking their group’s final ticket to the quarter final stages of the competition.

Enyimba International will host South African outfit Orlando Pirates on Wednesday in a game which could make or mar the Nigerian side’s season.

Enyimba shot themselves in the foot days ago as they lost to Al Ahly Benghazi in Libya which saw them drop to third on the standings with six points and Benghazi are sitting above them with seven points. Sétif who occupy the lower ranks of the group have five points meaning that a win for any of these sides coupled with favourable results in other centres will see them continue their continental journey.

Orlando Pirates got the better of the two-time African champions in the reverse over a month ago but they may not find it easy against an Enyimba side who have not lost any of their home games in group A.

One man who has voiced the general feeling in the Enyimba camp is Nigerian sensation, Anayo Iwuala.

The winger has been a revelation for the record Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) winners this season and he understands the upcoming game is a “must win” for his side.

“It’s a must win for us, we need to suppress the pressure a little bit, and we have to work together to make sure we get the win in any way we can.

“And with the position of things now it’s more pressure for us, in a way, but we don’t have any choice than just to look for a way to get the win come Wednesday night,” the Nigerian international concluded.

This will be the fourth meeting between Enyimba and Orlando Pirates in a CAF club competition. Pirates have won twice and drawn once in the past three meetings with their recent triumph coming in the shape of a 2-1 win in Soweto on March 17, 2021.

Enyimba have been outstanding in their recent continental home games against South African clubs, recording three wins, two draws and no losses since 2005 with wins over Ajax Capetown and Mamelodi Sundowns in the CAF Champions League in 2005 and 2016 respectively, and a 2-1 win over TS Galaxy in a CAF Confederation Cup playoff game in 2019.

Enyimba released some team news ahead of the important tie scheduled to take place in Aba. Farouk Mohammed, Samad Kadiri, Hassan Abubakar and Imoh Oboh are set to return to the side while the likes of Nelson Ogbonnaya, Dayo Ojo and Jean-Marie Guera remain sidelined.

Captain and top scorer for Enyimba in the tournament, Austin Oladapo will sit this one out thanks to suspension as he picked up yet another yellow card in the game against Ahly Benghazi.

The game is set for Wednesday, April 27, 2021 with kickoff at 10PM (Nigerian time).