Now we know we will be facing Rayon Sports in the quarter final of the CAF Confederation Cup. Aside them being named after a type of fabric, I haven’t much to say at all.
We know that, in football, there are no games to take for granted. However, there are games you can reasonably expect to win, and there are games in which you’d be angrier with a loss than others.
The consensus is that Rayon is possibly the easiest draw we could have gotten. I don’t know about that. But the truth is, take away the Enyimba name, and if Rayon had been presented with all the group winners to pick from, they’d have picked us.
We are, after all, the only team that qualified scoring fewer goals than they did. For context, Kenyan side Gor Mahia scored twice as many goals as we did in Rayon’s group, but failed to even qualify. Only three teams scored fewer goals than us in the entire Group Stage, and they all finished bottom of their groups and were eliminated.
So, Rayon will definitely fancy their chances, and they have nothing to lose at all.
Today, however, is not another day to beat up our strikers. That serves no meaningful purpose now. It’s all well and good complaining about your options when the window for transfers is open, but once it’s closed, you might as well shut up and get on with it (looking at you, Jose Mourinho fans everywhere).
We are now in the knockout phase anyway, where it is perfectly fine to scrape 1-0 wins. Interestingly, we only let in 5 goals in the group stage, and all five were conceded in two games. So, while we are a club that expects flowing football, this is the time to, more than ever, get behind our misfiring strikers. If our previous defensive showings are anything to go by, we won’t require a bucketful of goals anyway.
So, today we salute our defence. It is on their backs we have ridden this far, and we hope they can continue to take us forward. The long Isiaka Oladuntoye has needed the full length of his limbs to get us out of jail, and he has even contributed at the other end. Nelson Ogbonnaya is very highly thought of within the club, while Ifeanyi Anaemena and Uche John are two of our longest serving players. Not to forget our full-backs: Ikouwem Utin and Andrew Abalogu, who have also been excellent. Keep up the great work, lads!
They do say it is defence that wins titles. We can all raise our glasses to that.