Thursday Feb 26, 2015. 12:40
Nigeria champions Kano Pillars are expected to complete the double over South Sudan’s Al-Malakia FC on Saturday to advance to the first round of the CAF Champions League.
The overall winners of this tie will battle the winners of the clash between Club Olympique de Bamako of Mali and Moghreb Tetouan from Morocco, who lost the first leg 2-0.
Two weeks ago, Pillars defeated two-time South Sudan champions Malakia in Juba 2-0 in a preliminary round first leg match and they are now poised to wrap up their qualification to the next round of the competition in front of their fans.
Pillars will be playing for the first time in 10 months at the renovated Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano, which has been a favourite hunting ground for the four-time Nigerian champions for many years.
Pillars forward Ubong Ekpai vowed they are going all out for victory as it is not over and they are not looking down on the South Sudan team.
“It is going to be a tough game because Malakia will throw everything at us because they know it is their last chance,” Ekpai said.
“We have been training hard won’t take them for granted because we won away 2-0, we want to finish it off and complete a double over them.”
Malakia coach Ramzi Sebit said he believes his team will avenge their home loss in Kano.
“We will go back to the drawing board to commence plans on how to upset Kano Pillars in Nigeria,” said Sebit, whose team were eliminated from the preliminary round of last year’s Confederation Cup.
Pillars will still be without experienced defender Umar Zango, who also missed the first leg on account of a knee problem injury.