Friday Mar 18, 2016. 10:58
Nigeria’s Warri Wolves will have to overturn a 1-0 home loss to Al Merreikh of Sudan to stay alive in this year’s CAF Champions League this weekend.
The Wolves fell the first leg 1-0 in Warri and must now beat a more experienced Al Merreikh to get through to the second round of the competition.
Goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye said he is confident the team who finished as runners-up in last season’s Nigeria league will turn the table in Sudan to progress to the next stage.
"We had planned to win the first leg but it was not to be, that is football,” he said.
"But we have not lost hope as we are gunning for victory in the game because that's the only way we can progress.
“We will fight hard to get the victory, we know it's a huge task which won't be easy but we are in for it and pray God will crown our efforts."
Wolves coach Peter Niketien said they have not yet been eliminated from the competition.
"Football is a game you can hardly predict perfectly. We still have the second leg to play, who says we can't also beat them over there in Sudan? It's not over until it's over. We are still in,” said the young coach.
"We still have a 50% chance to qualify, we should not be written off.”
This is Wolves first appearance in CAF Champions League, while Al Merreikh have featured 19 times, reaching the semi-final last year.
However, the Sudanese giants will be without Nigeria forward Solomon Jabason after he suffered a knee injury and had to undergone a successful operation which will keep him out for up to six weeks.
He had a knee cartilage operation under the supervision of Dr. Osama El Shazly.
The 24-year-old forward played for Al Ahli Benghazi of Libya as well as Wikki Tourists, Enugu Rangers and Sharks in Nigeria.