Blow for Enyimba ahead of must-win clash with Orlando Pirates
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JOHANNESBURG - Nigerian club Enyimba will be without suspended captain and leading scorer Augustine Oladapo when they host South African outfit Orlando Pirates on Wednesday in a crucial CAF Confederation Cup group game.
Only a final-round victory against the unbeaten Buccaneers will give the twice African champions a chance of a top-two finish and qualification for the quarter-finals.
"I knew this group would go down to the wire. We must collect maximum points against Pirates to keep alive our hopes of becoming the first winners from Nigeria," said Enyimba coach Fatai Osho.
Entente Setif of Algeria host Al Ahly Benghazi of Libya in the other Group A fixture and all four clubs have a chance of reaching the knockout stage.
Enyimba hope the dribbling skills of rising star Anayo Iwuala can help unlock a Pirates defence that has conceded only one goal in eight qualifying and group matches.
That goal was scored by Oladapo, but it could not prevent the Nigerian visitors losing 2-1 in Soweto with Tshegofatso Mabasa snatching a late winner.
Enyimba have won their last four CAF home matches, all by one-goal margins, and a 1-0 win or a two-goal victory will ensure they finish above Pirates on head-to-head record, and progress