Enyimba FC defender Ifeanyi Anaemena and Akwa United head coach Abdu Maikaba were united in blaming the UJ Esuene Stadium pitch in Calabar for the lack of goals in Sunday’s Match day 19 game between both sides.
Both teams cancelled each other out with Enyimba ending the game with ten men after their Ghanaian goalkeeper Fatau Dauda was sent off late in the first half.
The UJ Esuene pitch has come under fire recently from South African side Bidvest Wits who attributed it to their elimination by Enyimba in the Confederation Cup playoff round.
“This is the third season we are playing away from our base (in Aba). It is actually affecting our game and the turf here in Calabar is not too good for us,” Anaemena told www.aclsports.com
In his own submission, Akwa United’s head coach Abdu Maikaba believes the state of the pitch hindered his team from making use of their numerical advantage in the game.
“Sometimes it is more difficult to face a team that is one-man down more especially when they are at home.
“The most important factor to me that affected my team was the field. It’s not playable and with that advantage, if the field is good, we can be able to play our football and I believe they will waste their energy in trying to get the ball from us,” Maikaba also told us after the game.
Enyimba will face Malian side Djoliba in their CAF Confederation Cup first group stage game on the same turf next Sunday and Maikaba believes even the hosts were affected on Sunday.
“Because of the pitch that was not too good, we had no alternative than to be kicking the ball the way they were doing and they were doing it also not because they cannot play but because the field is not playable.”
The draw left both teams on the same number of points in sixth and eighth positions on the league table.