Head Coach of Nigeria Cup winners Abdu Maikaba has assured football fans in the country that his team Akwa United will make the nation proud in their CAF Confederation Cup playoffs against El Hilal of Sudan this weekend.
The Promise Keepers are in Sudan for the first leg of their tie against the Sudanese team slated for Sunday at El Hilal stadium by 8:00pm.
Coach Maikaba in a chat with the media department of the club said he has a fair knowledge of El Hilal team from his time as an assistant coach of Enyimba International.
” We have prepared very well for this match, our opponents are a good team and we know it’s not going to be an easy game. I know this team because when Enyimba beat them here in Sudan some years ago I was the assistant coach.
“We have committed professional players that can deliver at any time. We all know the importance of this game to us as a football club and to our country. That is the reason we want to ensure we get a positive result here in Sudan on Sunday.
“Although the playoff is a two legged affair, we want to gain all the advantages we can get that will help put us in pole position for the next round.
” There is no doubt that El Hilal will have massive fans support but they can’t intimidate us with that. Football is a game of eleven players against eleven players and we are here to make our country proud”.
On their way to the playoffs, Akwa United knocked out Hawks of Gambia 3-2 on aggregate and defeated Al-Ittihad of Libya 3-2 on penalties after 1-1 aggregate score over two legs.
It will be the Promise Keepers first appearance in the playoff round of CAF Confederation Cup and also their first continental meeting with a Sudanese club.
The two time Nigeria FA Cup winners have an impressive away record in the CAF Confederation Cup having won two of their three previous away games in the competition.
In 2016, they beat Vita Club Mokanda of Congo 0-1, before defeating Hawks of Gambia 0-2 in February this year. Their only away defeat in the competition was 1-0 loss to Al-Ittihad of Libya last month.
Coach Maikaba will rely on the experience of some key players like Etim Mathew, Kodjovi Dadzie, Ariwachukwu Emmanuel, Denis Nya, Kelly Kester, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Ubong Friday, Aniekeme Asuquo, Gabriel Okechukwu, Michael Ibe, Victor Mbaoma amongst others for the needed result.
The winners of the two legged tie will advance to the lucrative group stage of the competition.