Raja Casablanca head coach, Juan Carlos Garrido has stressed that their deep knowledge of the way Enyimba plays was the brain behind their 1-0 away win in the first leg of the Caf Confederation Cup semi-final clash in Aba on Wednesday.
Abdelilah Hafidi’s 48th-minute strike was enough to hand the Moroccans an early advantage as they go into the return leg fixture on October 24 and Garrido hinted that the strategy they deployed based on their knowledge of the strength and weaknesses of Enyimba made it difficult for their hosts to hurt them.
He praised the People’s Elephant for their never say die spirit and warned his players that they have only finished the first game and that they must head back home to think of what they must do to get the sufficient result that will take them to the final.
“The reaction of my players was what gave us the win. We have all our respect for Enyimba for giving us a good match,” Garrido told the media.
“We were working and were focused on the game because we respect the quality of Enyimba. The motivation for our players was very high before the start of the game because they knew what to expect from them.
“We knew the strength and weaknesses of Enyimba before the game and we set our tactics to reflect that. It is just the first part of the match and the other one comes up in three weeks time. We have to play another very organized match and beef up the team to ensure that we play very well if we have to qualify for the next round.”
Raja are eyeing a place in the final of any Africa’s club competition for the first time since 2003 when they won the rested CAF Cup title. They have won the CAF Champions League on three occasions in 1989, 1997 and 1999.