Lobi Stars’ Anthony Agbaji has assured that the Pride of Benue’s desire to qualify for the group stage of the Caf Champions League has not been truncated despite losing the first leg of their first round 3-1 to Gor Mahia in Kasarani.
The reigning Nigerian champions also stumbled away from home against Cameroonian side, UMS de Loum before getting the tie decided at their alternate home at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu in the preliminary round second leg.
According to Agbaji, his side has come to the realisation that they must defend better and try to forget about the first leg deficit so that they do not put themselves under unnecessary tension as they host K’Ogalo in the reverse fixture this weekend.
“We have done a review of the game in Nairobi and we have come to the realization that we must play better than we did in the first leg if we are to qualify for the group stage of the Caf Champions League,” Agbaji told Goal.
“There were so many decisions we got wrong in Kenya which must be corrected before our game with them at home. We didn’t defend very well and we allowed them to score some goals that were avoidable. We can’t continue to dwell on the loss and we must concentrate our attention on the second leg which comes up this weekend.
“They utilized their home advantage to the latter last weekend and it is expected that we are all set and prepared for the second leg. I want to assure of fans that Lobi Stars’ quest to qualify for the group stage of the Caf Champions League has not been hindered in any way. We are fully focused on turning the table before our fans. We are not saying that Gor Mahia will come here and allow us to run over them. We must work harder and pray that we are favoured on game day.
“I have to apologize to our fans for our failure to represent them well in the first leg but that we are poised to make them happy in the deciding leg. We will like them to come in numbers to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu to come and cheer us to victory. We are only bothered about a place in the group stage of the competition because it is what we have prepared for.”
Lobi Stars are targeting a place in the money-spinning club competition for the first time since 2000 when they last featured for Nigeria while Gor Mahia are motivated to go extra mile against the Nigerian champions to become the first Kenyan team to reach the group stages of the competition.