LAGOS – Lobi Stars will begin their quest for a CAF Champions League glory today as they host former winners, Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu.
This will be a huge test for the Ortom Boys, who endured inactivity in the domestic league with attendant fitness concern to make it to the group stage of this year’s Champions League after overcoming Gor Mahia of Kenya on away goal rule.
Lobi may be the least rated of the clubs in Group A of the 2019 CAF Champions League, but they have shrugged that off to prove bookmakers wrong and make it this far. Much will be expected from the Solomon Ogbeide wards, particularly Sikiru Alimi, who scored a brace to see off the Kenyans in the first round.
Meanwhile, Sundowns qualified for the group stage after eliminating Libya Al Ahli Benghazi.
The South African Absa Premiership giants thumped Al Ahli 4-0 on aggregate with the first-leg encounter having ended in a 0-0 draw.
Sundowns, who won the Champions League in 2016, will be banking on their captain, Hlompho Kekana’s experience when they face Lobi. Egyptian referee, Gehad Grisha, will be in charge of the match billed to start by 5pm Nigerian time.
Meanwhile, Benue State government has promised a truck-load of fans from Makurdi to Enugu for the Stars. Recall that the state government did the same in that decisive first round second leg match against Gor Mahia.