By James Agberebi: Former CAF Champions League winning coach with Enyimba, Kadiri Ikhana, has expressed his confidence that Plateau United can advance to the group phase of this year’s CAF Champions League despite trailing Tunisian side Etoile Du Sahel from the first-leg, Completesportsnigeria.com (CSN) reports.
In the first-leg played on Tuesday in Sousse, Etoile Du Sahel defeated Plateau United 4-2.
Plateau gave themselves a lifeline by scoring two goals after initially going down 4-0.
The return leg comes up on Friday, March 16 in Jos.
Reacting to the first-leg result, Ikhana who became the first coach to lead a Nigerian club to win the CAF Champions League (Enyimba in 2003), stated that Plateau’s ability to grab two away goals will be in their favour.
“The Plateau United I saw, I think they stand a chance,” the 2003 CAF Coach of the Year told CSN.
“Luckily, they were able to get two goals which is a good advantage. I believe they have what it takes to overcome Etoile and go through to the next round.”
Ikhana however warned that Plateau should should not be too anxious to score the two needed goals that will see them progress into the next round.
He said: “What I know of the North African teams, for sure Etoile will be defensively cautious when they come here, that does not mean they are not dangerous upfront, they will want to use counter-attacks.
“Plateau should be very careful. They shouldn’t be in a rush looking for the two goals. If they leave their defence open while going all out to look for the goals, they will be in serious problem.
“They should take their time because they need two goals which is not too much. But most importantly, the visitors should not score. I know the visitors would want to score first. If Plateau can take care of this, then they will be safe.”