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Football: Sunshine do not fear mighty Kabylie
Published : 28 Jul 2011 15:30:09
African Confederation Cup surprise side Sunshine Stars of Nigeria refuse to be intimidated by multi-title winners JS Kabylie of Algeria ahead of their clash on Friday.
While Sunshine are appearing in a Pan-African competition for the first time this year, Kabylie have won the African Champions League twice, African Cup Winners Cup once and the CAF Cup three consecutive times.
"We are not afraid of any team," insisted Stars coach Gbenga Ogunbote to the Nigerian media this week. "Our target is to go all the way and win the African Confederation Cup.
"My players are squandering a lot of scoring chances due to international naivety, but they compensate through determination. Our objective is to win at home and avoid defeat away."
Captain and striker Godfrey Oboabona added: "When we started our campaign no one gave us a chance, but we have already sent three teams packing in the qualifiers and also won our first group game."
Sunshine ousted Tiko United of Cameroon, USFA of Burkina Faso and Al-Ittihad of Libya in eliminators before moving to the top of Group B with a 2-0 home win over Daring Club Motema Pembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kabylie had Bilal Naili sent off soon after half-time and conceded a late goal to fall 1-0 at Moghreb Fes of Morocco two weeks ago so they need a maximum points in eastern town Tizi Ouzou to get a title challenge back on track.
The Algerian 'Canaries' boast a perfect home record in the second-tier African competition this season and did not concede a goal when defeating Tevragh Ziena of Mauritania, Missile of Gabon and Diaraf of Senegal.
Former African Cup Winners Cup title holders Motema Pembe must solve a goal drought that has seen them fail to score in seven matches in all competitions if they are to defeat Moghreb in Kinshasa.
Club Africain of Tunisia exceeded expectations by holding Group A favourites ASEC Mimosas 1-1 in Ivory Coast with a late Youssef Mouihbi equaliser followed by desperate defending after Wajdi Mechergui was red carded.
The North Africans have home advantage over Nigerians Kaduna United, whose Belgian coach Maurice Cooreman insists they are going to lift the cup despite conceding a stoppage-time goal to draw 1-1 at home against InterClube of Angola.
French coach Sebastien Desabre deployed a lone striker as ASEC won a domestic cup semi-final last weekend and is expected to stick with Koffi Boua up front for a Luanda showdown with InterClube.