Enyimba hope for happy homecoming in CAF Cup


Enyimba of Nigeria hope to defeat CARA of Congo Brazzaville and secure a CAF Confederation Cup quarter-finals place when they return to their home ground on Wednesday.

The winners of four pan-African titles have hosted domestic and CAF fixtures in nearby Port Harcourt since 2016 while the stadium in southeastern city Aba was being renovated.

Enyimba need maximum points to be certain of advancing while a draw will suffice for Group C leaders CARA, whose lone CAF title came 44 years ago.

Three clubs have booked last-eight places and five are out of contention, leaving eight entering matchday 6 seeking five slots in the September 3 quarter-finals draw.

AFP Sport predicts which teams are set to join V Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Renaissance Berkane of Morocco and Al Masry of Egypt in the knockout phase.

Group A

V Club require one point from a match at fellow former African champions ASEC Mimosas of the Ivory Coast to clinch first place and theoretically easier quarter-final opponents.

ASEC will be wary of Congolese Jean-Marc Makusu Mundele, scorer of seven goals in the competition this season, as they seek maximum points to keep slim qualification hopes alive.

The probable scenario is that Raja Casablanca of Morocco will win at home against bottom club Aduana Stars of Ghana and accompany V Club to the next stage.

Group B

This is the one mini-league already decided with the only outstanding issue being whether Berkane or Masry top the final standings.

Both are at home — Berkane to UD Songo of Mozambique and Masry to Al Hilal of Sudan — and they should win to give the Moroccans first place by one point.

Experienced African campaigners Hilal have been particularly disappointing, lying last after failing to win in five group outings.

Group C

CARA lead on head-to-head records from Enyimba with Williamsville of the Ivory Coast two points adrift in an intriguing contest for two knockout-phase places.

The Brazzaville outfit have lost all five away matches in the Confederation Cup this season so the odds heavily favour an Enyimba victory on their new artificial pitch.

Williamsville are expected to beat already-eliminated Djoliba of Mali in Abidjan and join Enyimba in the quarter-finals with CARA missing out.

Group D

Newly crowned Kenyan champions Gor Mahia, USM Alger of Algeria and Rayon Sports of Rwanda are contesting two places with Young Africans of Tanzania out of the running.

The likeliest outcome is that USM will beat Gor in Algiers to win the group with Rayon finishing second through a home win over Young Africans in Kigali.

Unless Rayon drop points, Gor must win in Algeria to survive after a blunder by goalkeeper Boniface Otieno gifted the Rwandans a shock victory in Nairobi this month.

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