Nigerian clubs Akwa United, Plateau United and MFM begin their quest for continental glory in the preliminary rounds of the CAF Confederation Cup and the CAF Champions League when they battle their various opponents on Sunday.
Akwa host Gambian side Banjul Hawks in Uyo while Plateau host Cameroonian champions Eding Sport in Jos and MFM are away in Mali to AS Bamako. The country’s fourth club Enyimba were given a bye into the next stage of the Confederation Cup.
The return leg of the matches will be played next week with the winners of the preliminary rounds booking passage into the first round of the competitions. Winners of the first round proceed to the 16-team group stages of both continental competitions.
Akwa coach Abdu Maikaba believes his players can overcome their visitors.
He said, “Our ambition is to do well this season; we want to reach group stage of the Confederation Cup and we need to start well by winning our first match against Hawks. Our target is to ensure we qualify first for the group stage and after that we can set another target for ourselves.”
MFM boss Fidelis Ilechukwu is confident of getting points away in Bamako.
“I believe we are going to do our best and we hope God crowns our little effort with favour. I have not really watched them play but with little information we have gathered, we have to put up our best performance to get the points,” he said.
Also, Plateau coach Kennedy Boboye says his club are out to beat the Cameroonians.
“We won the league last year with a lot of hard work. We have continued working hard and it is good that the season started early enough which has given us good match practice ahead of our Champions League match against Eding Sport,”.
“I went to watch Eding Sport and I know they are very good and play compact football but we are ready for them. We are not worried about playing first at home, the most important thing is to play well and score some goals before going to Cameroon for the second leg.” He said