Beat Al-Ahly,become African champions.A loss will not only create a sad record,it means no Nigerian side ever stopped the Egyptian giants in the CAF Champions’ League semis, that is authoritative from former Abia state governor Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu.
Kalu who spoke yesterday disclosed that Enugu Rangers and Enyimba could tell the story better since losing in the semi-finals to Ahly paved way for the victors to emerge as champions.It also left the Nigerians with sad tales.
He said,”In 1982,Ahly retired the great Emma Okalla from soccer. It was in the second leg of the semis.The Flying Antelopes had won the first leg 1-0 at home.
Until the Cairo match, Rangers did not lose at away, having drawn1-1 in Angola with Primeiro de Agosto[Okalla bagged a red card],and beaten AS Kaloum,Guinea and Algeria’s RS Kouba respectively. However, the Egyptians bombed them 4-0 and went ahead to beat Asante Kotoko in the finals.”
Enyimba according to the ex-governor, got their dose in 2008. The first leg in Aba ended goalless. Ahly won the second leg semis 1-0. Again they lifted the trophy after the finals.
“Enyimba bore a grudge before the 2008 clash. Ahly had dethroned them as two-time champions in 2005. It was bad because the Egyptians became the first to beat the Elephants home and away in an international duel.
In Aba, Emad Mohammed gave the visitors a 1-0 advantage, in the return leg, Atanda Shakibu gave Enyimba the lead only for the homers to rally round to a 2-1 win,”Kalu added.
He advised Sunshine Stars to work towards humiliating Ahly to emerge as the first Nigerians to do it in the the Champions’ League.
“Ahly are beatable. Kano Pillars dethroned them in 2009, albeit, before the Group stage. Should Sunshine win, they could grab the trophy.
One man that will rejoice with them is Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. He has not forgotten how Ahly stopped him from presenting the Winners Cup to Leventis United in 1985 at the National Stadium, Lagos.
IBB waited at Dodan Barracks for the Ibadan Boys to cancel the first leg 2-0 deficit before going to Sportscity. It did not work, 2-1 aggregate scores and the prize did not stay in Nigeria,”Kalu said.