Technical Adviser of Akwa United Abdu Maikaba says he is very pleased with his side’s performance in their 3-1 win over Sudanese giants, Al Hilal despite their elimination from the CAF Confederation Cup by virtue of the away goal rule.
Trailing 2-0 from the first leg in Omdurman, the Promise Keepers came from behind to defeat Hilal 3-1 in Uyo on Wednesday in the reverse fixture of their play-off tie, thanks to a hattrick from Michael Ibe.
The result meant the Aiteo Cup champions joined Plateau United and MFM FC in exiting the competition, with Enyimba left as the only Nigerian team on the continent.
However, the former Wikki Tourists coach praised the fighting spirit of his wards, and promised that the team will work harder to return to the continent next season.
“I believe my boys played wonderfully, and if not for the goal we conceded, we would have been there (group stage) by now,” Maikaba said in a post-match press conference. “But it is part of the game. It happens like that; sometimes you make mistakes, and to recover is difficult.
“We tried our possible best to come back into the game, we got a lot of chances, and we were able to score three (goals) but the fourth one did not come at any point in time. So that is football for you.
“We are out of it but we were not disgraced. I am very happy with the performance of the boys.
“The only thing we can do is to try and get an opportunity like this to represent Nigeria so that we can improve on what we have done this time,” he said.
Akwa United have now failed to reach the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup on the two occasions that they have participated in the competition.