Akwa United captain Emmanuel Ariwachukwu has apologised for his team’s 0-2 loss to Sudanese side Al Hilal Omdurman in their CAF Confederation Cup clash on Sunday.
First half goals by Al Sadig Selash and Hussein Morsal gave the Sudanese champions a healthy first leg lead to take into next week’s return leg in Uyo, Southern Nigeria.
Centre back and home based Super Eagles defender, Ariwachukwu is sorry about the loss and spoke to us just before his team left Lagos for Uyo on Tuesday morning.
“Personally, I have to apologise to our fans and anyone who believed in us,” begun the former Niger Tornadoes defender to www.aclsports.com
“But in football, you can win, draw or lose. All are part of the game but losing to Hilal last Sunday I will say they capitalised on our errors at the particular moment they scored those goals.
“Other little factors I observed, I think it’s something we can work out in our training sessions to perfect our next game with them,” he added.
United are not new to fighting first leg deficits in the Confederation Cup this season. The Nigerian Cup Champions lost at home to Gambian side Banjul Hawks before winning the second leg in The Gambia to progress beyond the elimination round.
United, coached by respected Nigerian coach Abdu Maikaba also lost 1-0 to Libyan side Al-Ittihad Tripoli in Sfax, Tunisia before overturning the scoreline in the second leg in Uyo and then winning on penalties.
Ariwachukwu believes they can do it again.
“Yes we can!,” he affirmed.
“All we need to do is to step up our game seriously. No one will do it for us but we the players so we must believe we can and yes we can,” he added.
The Promise Keepers will return to domestic activities on Thursday when they face Rivers United in Port Harcourt.
Such has been the journey of the season for United who have had to play almost every four days due to participation in continental competition. The captain believes that is what they have to face.
“This is what we signed for.
“It’s our job and career and our life style till we retire from playing actively so the only problem is how we players can manage the fatigue in us and still give our best when we are called to represent our dear club.
“Nobody will want to hear fatigue this or that but it’s the reality we can’t deny.
“Definitely, we will bounce back as soon as possible,” concluded Ariwachukwu.
United’s second leg clash with Al Hilal Omdurman will come up at the Nest of Champions in Uyo next Wednesday.