The 40,000-capacity Adokieye Amiesiamaka stadium in Port-Harcourt will be venue for the titanic soccer battle between the two sides, who have between them seven triumphs in the premier continental club championship.
Aigbogun told CAFonline.com in an exclusive chat that despite the drop in form in the domestic scene, he was very optimistic of getting a winning start in the group stage of the competition.
“No doubt, it has been very tasking for us on the domestic scene that has seen us drop valuable points; I am quite optimistic of carrying on with our good home form on the continent to have a winning start in the group stage.
“Zamalek are a very good side and we respect them for all they have been able to do to qualify to this stage but we are not intimidated. We also earned our right to be here and of cause, don’t forget, we were also former champions.”
He stated further, “There are no injury worries in the team now and the rest we have had in having our Federation cup game shifted has to a very large extent helped us regain some lost energy and we are good to go. Fans should come out in their numbers to see and cheer us to a re-sounding victory on Sunday”.
Midfielder Etor also said “we are very composed to make names for ourselves. Zamalek is a big team on the continent but Enyimba is also a well-respected side in Africa so, we shall be confronting them with only one thing in mind which is a very big win. The three points is not negotiable and all the players have vowed to put in more than a 100 per cent to ensure that we achieve our aims this season.”
With respect to the statistics, Udoh said, “Enyimba got to this stage through a dint of hard work, dedication and luck. So, we are not going to relax as our target is to emerge winners of the trophy at the end of the season. Zamalek is a respected side and we respect them for all they have been able to achieve but we are more determined to make a great start to the group stage of the competition. Statistics are meant to be re-written.”
Inspirational and experienced shot stopper, Theopphilus Afelokhai, whose heroics stopped Tunisian giants, Etoile du Sahel in the penalties shootout win in Tunisia at the previous round added “we hope to start the group stage well by winning, but we also understand we have a good team as opponents. Zamalek have won the competition several times and they will be coming with a lot of confidence and experience and we must be ready for that. I think it will be tight, because we are also former champions of the competition and they will have that at the back of their minds too.”
Nigerians still have fresh memories of how the Egyptian giants, have forced bitter pills of defeats down their throats with two successive defeats suffered by Shooting Stars Sports Club in the final of 1984 and 1996, while Enyimba prides itself of denying two North African clubs, Ismaily and Etoile du Sahel to win in 2003 and 2004.
Visiting Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa humbled ES Setif 2-0 in the Group B opener in the northeastern Algerian city of Setif on Saturday evening.
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19.06.2016 Enyimba (Nigeria) vs Zamalek (Egypt)