Rivers United goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai says the Pride of Rivers ‘need to come all out’ against Egyptian side Al Masry when both teams clash in the playoff round of the 2021/22 CAF Confederation Cup.
Tuesday’s draw in Cairo pitted Stanley Eguma’s side against the former Egyptian Cup winners, with a place in the group stages at stake.
Rivers United dropped down to the second-tier Confederation Cup after losing 1-0 (2-1 on aggregate) to Sudanese giants Al Hilal in the second leg of their 2nd preliminary round tie in Suez, Egypt, on Sunday.
Reacting to the draw on Tuesday, the former Enyimba and Kano Pillars shot-stopper said the Port Harcourt side will do ‘everything possible’ to reach the group stages at the expense of Al Masry.
“We saw it (the draw) today and there is nothing we can do than to prepare for our opponent (Al Masry),” the 33-year-old experienced goalkeeper said.
“And we just need to come all out this time around because I believe that what we did in the match on Sunday and in the first leg (in Port Harcourt) was not enough for us. We just need to like do everything possible for us to beat our opponent to qualify to the group stage.”
The 2005 runners-up (as Dolphins FC) will play the first leg at home on 28 October, before returning to Egypt for the reverse fixture a week later on 5 November.
Afelokhai believes he and his teammates will feel at home in Egypt, having recently played against Al Hilal in the North African country.
“Some of the players (of Rivers United) have not been to Egypt before,” he noted. “I don’t think that will be a new thing to them anymore. It’s just like it is part of their home this time around. We just came back today (Tuesday), by the next four weeks or so, we’ll be there again.
“We just need to take the place as if it’s a place we have been before. It’s not something new over there. Me, I have been there several times. It’s a place I’ve known what they can do. As a club and all kinds of club, I know what they can do and what they cannot do, unlike our new players that have not played in that country before.
“It’s good for them to experience it and for us to know what to do.”