Enyimba attacking midfielder Ikechukwu Ibenegbu believes the Abia derby win is good confidence booster for his side ahead of the tie at PSL side Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa.
The Nigerian champions piped capital city rivals Abia Warriors 1-0 in Wednesday’s Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) make-up matchday 12 oriental clash at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.
Dare Ojo’s fourth-minute goal proved decisive to hand Enyimba the three points at stake as well as their first win in recent matches. Ibenegbu said the win will help to prepare and toughen his side for the Caf Champions League clash against the South African side next Wednesday in Pretoria.
“Of course, the encounter is a local derby and you do not expect anything less than a tough challenge.
“We scored the match winner in the fourth minute and nobody else was able to score any more goals, confirming that the clash was truly tight and tough.
“Abia Warriors gave us good fight and may have indirectly hardened and prepared us for the challenges at Mamelodi Sundowns.
“That’s why we are really happy with the hard-fought victory as we have not been experiencing victory in our recent matches.
“The win has boosted our confidence to go for outright victory in the Caf Champions League clash against Mamelodi Sundowns,” said the former Heartland and Warri Wolves playmaker to supersport.com.
Enyimba are expected to head off to South Africa at the weekend to confront the South African champions in Wednesday’s group matchday 2 clash in Pretoria.
The Nigerian campaigners fell 0-1 to the Egyptian giants Zamalek SC while Sundowns stunned Algerian opponents ES Setif 2-0 in Algiers.
The top-flight win against Warriors takes Enyimba’s total earnings to 34 from a possible 66 with a game to spare against Sunshine Stars.