CAF League: Defiant Sunshine Won’t Give up
Sunshine said they could still go past Al Ahly and qualify for the CAF Champions League final. Sunshine Stars midfielder Tamen Mendrano said Sunday that they are in a tight corner after a 3-3 at home against Egyptian champions Ahly, but they will hope to wriggle out of it to reach the final against either Esperance or TP Mazembe.
"It is not over for us, we wanted to win but ended up with draw,” insisted Mendrano, who capped a fine display in Ijebu-Ode with a great goal. “We still have second leg to play. It has happened before and we survived it. We will again take the battle to Al Ahly in the second leg,"
Sunshine coach, Gbenga Ogunbote was equally Defiant after the six-goal thriller. "It is not over. We will go to Cairo for our result to take us to final,” maintained Ogunbote. “If we get the kind of officiating that we had here in Cairo, we will get to final.”
Ahly coach Hossam Al-Badri said his players’ fitness ensured they got a good result on the road. "We know what Sunshine Stars can do, so we went into long-term camping to make sure the players maintained their fitness level and plan for the game. We also played friendly matches to put the boys in match situation,” said Al-Badri.
“It really worked for us. We came here to tame Sunshine and go for goals which we were able to achieve, scoring three goals away is good for us. “Sunshine are a good side with great character. I must Give them credit for their display and we won't relent in our preparation ahead of the second leg."
Al-Badri told reporters that his club will not be affected by the absence of fans in the return leg match, which will be played behind closed doors.
"Though the fans have their own contributions to the success of a game by cheering the team, we are ready to play without them at home for the return leg and get the result that we need," he said.
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