Nigeria’s flag bearer in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League, Lobi Stars, will be hoping to get some sort of revenge at Stade Prince Moulay Abdallah when they take on Wydad Athletic Club in one of the Match Day 4 games of this competition.
Lobi Stars must, at least, avoid defeat to have any realistic chance of progressing to the quarter-finals, from Group A.
Lobi Stars, a fortnight ago, were beaten 1-0 at home by the Moroccans when they came calling at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu.
Striker Mohamed Nahiri scored the only goal of the encounter from the spot in that feisty tie.
Now lying in the fourth position in the group, Lobi Stars are in for a Herculean task against Wydad at the Complexe Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat on Tuesday.
But, 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 told CAFOnline.com
“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 confident we can go all the way in this competition,” remarked Itodo.
Speaking in the same vein, midfielder Oluwadamilare Ojo, who was recruited from Enyimba, 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 Match Day 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.
Enyimba remains the only Nigerian team to have lifted the priceless CAF Champions League trophy.
Match Day 4 fixtures
Wydad Casablanca (Morocco) v Lobi Stars (Nigeria) (first leg Wydad Casablanca 1-0) (8 pm)
ASEC Mimosas (Côte d’Ivoire) v Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) (first leg Mamelodi Sundowns 3-1) (5 pm)
Espérance (Tunisia) v Orlando Pirates (South Africa) (first leg 0-0)
Horoya (Guinea) v FC Platinum (Zimbabwe) (first leg Horoya 1-0) (both 2 pm)
Club Africain (Tunisia) v TP Mazembe (DR Congo) (first leg TP Mazembe 8-0) (5 pm)
Simba (Tanzania) v Al-Ahly (Egypt) (first leg Al-Ahly 5-0) (2 pm)
JS Saoura (Algeria) v AS Vita Club (DR Congo) (first leg 2-2) (8pm)