Sunshine Go For Broke
Posted: Aug 04, 2012
Akure Gunners In Win Or Bust Against ASO Chlef
Sunshine Stars of Nigeria and ASO Chlef of Algeria are seeking their first win in the group stage of the Orange Champions League.
Both sides clash tomorrow inside the Otunba Dipo Dina Stadium in Ijebu Ode, desperate to get their season back on track after disappointing results in their first two games.
Sunshine who are yet to register a goal, are third on the log after one defeat and a draw against defending Champions Esperance and Etoile du Sahel.
With Chlef missing of their key players for the encounter, they may earn their first three points in the mini league stage.
After a catastrophic debut in the group phase of the competition where they suffered two defeats against Tunisian sides Etoile du Sahel and Espérance de Tunis, the Algerian outfit will try to bounce back against Sunshine.
The Red and Whites will be deprived of midfielder Maamar Bentocha and playmaker Mohamed Messaoud, both suspended, which is a huge concern to the Chlef coach.
“I admit that it will be very difficult for us to do without two key elements of the team of the calibre of Messaoud and Bentocha. I am tackling the task of finding replacements, but I am convinced that the two withdrawals are a hard blow for us,” said Rachid Belhout regretfully.
Added to this twist of fate is the uncertainty surrounding midfielder Mohamed Zaouche and striker Ali Hadji, who were injured against Espérance.
The two players are part of the group that is en route to Lagos, but their participation in the clash remains uncertain.
Although they are lying in last position in Group A with 0 points after two weeks, the Chlef club have not lost hope of reaching the semi-finals of the prestigious competition.
“Of course we started off badly in the group phase, but we still have four matches left to play, and a lot can still happen. From our side, we will push our chances to the limit,” assured Belhout, who is relying on the positive state of mind of his troops against the Espérantistes to inspire some hope.
“Despite the defeat, the great performance of ASO in the previous match against the current African champion will motivate the players to head to Nigeria in good spirits.”
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