A cross-section of players at Lobi Stars of Makurdi have disclosed their determination to survive the expected flak from Wydad Athletic Club (WAC) of Morocco in Tuesday’s fourth group match of the CAF Champions League.
Although Lobi Stars lost the first leg 1-0 at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, the players have declared their resolve to avoid defeat in the reverse fixture, in order to have any realistic chance of progressing to the quarter-finals from Group A.
The Middle Belt side fell at home to the Moroccans a fortnight ago, after Mohamed Nahiri scored the only goal of the encounter from the spot, but the Nigerian champions are now talking tough for revenge.
Now lying in fourth position in the group, Lobi Stars are in for a Herculean task against Wydad at Complexe Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat on Tuesday.
However, Lobi Stars’ experienced midfielder Cletus Itodo who was an unused substitute in Enugu, is confident that Lobi Stars can still pull their chestnut from the fire.
“Really, we tried our best against Wydad Casablanca but they were the lucky team the last time because we also had one or two chances in the course of the match,” the 35-year-old Itodo said.
“The loss to Wydad in Enugu was a setback but we are going to bounce back; who says we can’t beat Wydad at home too?
“We need to readjust our strategy for the return leg and I’m still very confidence we can go all the way in this competition,” remarked Itodo.
Speaking in the same vein, midfielder Dare Ojo, who was recruited from Enyimba of Aba, equally affirmed the readiness of Lobi Stars against Wydad in Rabat.
“The only three options available in a football match are: a win, defeat or draw,” noted 25-year-old Ojo who while at Enyimba, scored a lively volley against Mamelodi Sundowns in a 2016 CAF Champions League match in Johannesburg.
“We have accepted our loss in Enugu to Wydad in good faith and we just have to make amends in the return leg; it was not as if Wydad were better than us but their tactics worked for them and I believe we can definitely shock them in the second leg.”
Ojo has been one of his side’s most impressive players this term and he insisted Lobi Stars can turn things around: “We can make amends in Rabat; If Wydad can beat us in Enugu, I believe we can definitely do same to them in Rabat and by the grace of God, we can.”
In the other MatchDay 4 tie in Group A, third-placed ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire would host Mamelodi Sundowns at Stade Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on Tuesday.