Nigeria’s 2018/19 CAF Champions League representatives Lobi Stars of Markurdi are ready to go for the broke in their second leg first round tie against Kenyan champions Gor Mahia on Saturday.
Lobi were beaten 3-1 in the first leg clash decided at the Kasarani Sports Center in Nairobi last Sunday and the Nigerians must score at least two unreplied goals if they hope to enter the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in eighteen years.
The Pride of Benue’s midfield star Kelly Kester insists his side have the quality to turn the fixture around.
“Yeah, we do have the quality to overturn the first leg result. We just need to stay focused and believe in our abilities and also play according to the way the coach wants us to,” said Kester to www.aclsports.com
Lobi Stars, led by their head coach Solomon Ogbeide arrived in Enugu, South-East Nigeria on Thursday ahead of Saturday afternoon’s game billed for the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium.
Kester believes his team cannot use that as an excuse on the day.
“Enugu is still in Nigeria,” argued the former Enyimba midfielder.
“Apart from missing the full support of our fans, I don’t think it will affect us because, again, both playing surfaces (in Makurdi and Enugu) are similar.”
Lobi Stars are set to drop experienced centre back Umar Zango for Saturday’s crunch tie while forward Sikiru Alimi is available once again for selection after missing last weekend’s game in Nairobi.
South African centre referee Tinyiko Hlungwani will be in charge of the decisive second leg clash scheduled to start at 3pm Nigerian time. He will be assisted by Johannes Sello Moshidi and Athenkosi Ndongeni also from South Africa.
Winner of the tie on aggregate will advance to the group stage of the competition while the loser will drop down to the Confederation Cup playoff round.