Former Nigerian league champions Enyimba on Sunday were made to work hard by lowly rated Energie FC of Benin Republic who succumbed late in the game to a 3-2 loss.
The victory sealed Enyimba’s passage into the final playoff round of the CAF Confederation Cup on a 5-2 aggregate score against the Beninoise side which paraded many Nigeria-born players.
Goalkeeper Sheyi Damilola, defender Olaniyan Lawal, goalscorer Jules Elegbede and defensive star Jean Ogouchi were some of the Nigerian-born players in Energie FC fold. The latter spoke to www.aclsports.com after Sunday’s loss, admitting the superiority of Enyimba and his new home – Benin Republic.
“Enyimba are a professional club, lots of experience and have been in this game for long,” admitted Ogouchi, born in Imo State, Eastern Nigeria.
“We just came new (to the tournament) and I think we did well enough to win but the Enyimba side are a better side.
“In our home, I think we misused our chance and coming for the second leg, we tried all our possible best to get a win but it was not possible,” he added to www.aclsports.com
The Benin Republic national teams have a rich history of Nigerian born players featuring for them. From Muri Ogunbiyi to Razak Omotoyosi and now to Salomon Junior, the list continues to grow as football talents in Nigeria seldomly find shelter in the neighbouring nation.
Ogouchi who has represented the Squirrels gave a hint on life in the former Dahomey.
“Life over there (in Republic of Benin) is lively. We Nigerian players feel free over there and we have no worries at all.
“The football over there is advancing little by little and I believe in some years to come, we will be much better in football,” submitted Ogouchi who has also had a stint in Gabon.