Good morning everyone.
It’s Friday, everyone’s favorite day of the week. Thank God for his endless mercies.
My bosom friend and brother Fisayo Dairo of Fisco stats penned us some thoughts on the Champions League game with Etoile du Sahel which we saw together. It’s a pretty lengthy post so we sliced it in two. No doubt the job is far away from done and dusted but these thoughts are heartwarming and could offer some respite from the pain of the midweek defeat.
Former African champions Enyimba landed in a dream zone they could barely expect beforehand after a comprehensive 3-0 bashing of reigning CAF Confederation Cup holders, Etoile du Sahel in the first leg tie of their second round 2016 CAF Champions League clash. Up for grabs is a place in the money-spinning group stages of Africa’s most glamorous club competition.
Such was the nature of their performance that their visitors (who had lost just one game – to Congolese side TP Mazembe – in their last 25 games in all competitions) were dazed after the first leg encounter, apparently spooking at the uphill task ahead of them in Sousse 10 days later. They loitered around aimlessly in their dressing room for over 30 minutes in a manner that typifies an average African away team delay tactics, the difference being that it was something we’re used to on the pitch and not in the dressing rooms.
The emphatic first leg scoreline is enough to serve as a huge advantage on its own to the reigning Nigeria Professional Football League Champions but with the nature of the African game, nay football globally, nothing can be absolutely certain.
Enyimba are in a class of their own but their opponents are also not just experienced campaigners in CAF competitions, they have quality in their playing personnel and their homeground, the Olympic Stadium in Sousse has been a real fortress for years now.
Add that to the fact that Enyimba have lost their two away matches in the competition so far to teams from inferior leagues compared to the Tunisian league, AS Vita and Vital’O, no disrespect to the Ugandan and Burundian leagues then you will begin to imagine that it is not all done and dusted yet.
There is however an advantage that Enyimba secured from their first leg which very few have talked about, this writer calls it “The Unseen Advantage”. As per the seen advantage, the first leg ended 3-0 in favour of Enyimba though in fairness, it could’ve been more.
I watched Enyimba at least ten times en route to their league triumph last season and I had also done so twice this season before Sunday’s game (vs Plateau United in Umuahia and vs Rangers in Enugu) and I can confidently assert that I had not seen Enyimba play with such pitiless swagger they exhibited against the Tunisians at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium.
They were all over their opponents and even if they got away with some 50-50 decisions, they were full value for everything they got.
We take a pause with the article right now to finish it up tomorrow. We’ve learnt from experience that our audience here on the blog don’t like very lengthy posts. So ring back tomorrow morning for the conclusion of that piece.
News emerged yesterday that Striker Abu Azeez has quit beach football for the country. Alot of folks misinterpreted it as having quit football In it’s entirety but the striker was quick to debunk those thoughts. Reasons are best know to him but you would think making this decision can only be a good thing for him and for his career. We wish him the best.
By the way the team is in Lagos and will train at the Agege Stadium at 9am today. If you’re around there… Go get yourself some autographs.
That’s all for today. Back tomorrow with more.
You can follow Mr Dairo on Twitter @FisayoDairo. You’ll be glad you did.