Former Enyimba midfielder Abu Azeez has disclosed that he was not surprised with the team’s stunning 1-0 victory against AC Djoliba of Mali in a CAF Confederation Cup (CAFCC) clash played at the weekend.
The two-time African champions defeated their hosts in a Matchday 5 game in Group C courtesy a late penalty from Farouk Mohammed.
Reacting to the crucial win in a chat with Goal, Abu Azeez said he spoke to some of the players before the game and was not surprised with the eventual outcome of the match.
He said: “I was not surprised at all that Enyimba defeated Djoliba in Bamako last weekend.”
“They showed from my discussions with some of them that they were ready to spill blood in their attempt to get a good result in Bamako. They told me that a defeat was not among their options as it was their desire to qualify for the quarter final.
“They matched their words with action on the pitch and I can only say that I am happy for them. Nigerian clubs have suffered in recent times and it was a relief that we got Enyimba to put smiles back to our faces.
“Many people wrote them off after their off-colour performance against Williamsville AC which they off-colour beat 1-0 in Port Harcourt but lost 2-0 in the second leg in Abidjan. They were told all sorts of things but I still believe in them because I know that Nigerian teams, when pushed to the wall, will always respond.” The former Warri Wolves player added.
The national beach Soccer player then warned the team against complacency ahead of their final group game against leaders CARA Brazzaville at home.
Abu Azeez, who was part of the team’s squad for the CAF Champions League squad in 2016, said: “I want to appeal to them that they are yet to qualify for the next stage of the competition and they must treat their next opponents with respect if they do not want to be surprised.”
“They have had their work seriously reduced with the win in Bamako but they must finish off CARA at home to be sure they are in the quarter-final. They must treat their last game with caution and have respect for CARA if they do not want to be shocked.” He concluded.
Second-placed Enyimba (9 points) have to win their final game against CARA Brazzaville (9 points) on Matchday 6 to qualify for the knockout stage with third-placed Ivorian side Williamsville still in contention for the top two spots that will guarantee a quarterfinal spot.
Williamsville will face bottom club and already eliminated Djoliba in the other group game on Matchday 6.