Caf Champions League: Boboye explains why Akwa United bowed to CR Belouizdad

Shina Odukoya

Coach Kennedy Boboye has opened up on reasons for Akwa United’s failed expedition in the Caf Champions League.

The reigning Nigeria Professional Football League kings bowed out of the tournament following a 2-1 aggregate defeat to CR Belouizdad on Sunday.

The Promise Keepers secured a slim 1-0 lead in the first leg, however, a 2-0 loss at the Omar Hamadi Stadium in Algiers saw the Uyo based side kiss the Champions League goodbye.

Explaining what went wrong, the former Nigeria U23 assistant coach explained the factors that worked against his team’s ambition of progressing to the second round.

“The moment we won by just one goal in Uyo on September 12th, I knew it will be difficult for us to get a favourable result in Algiers, but at the same time it wasn’t an impossible task for us,” Boboye told the media.

“After a careful study of the first leg, I realised that our opponents were technically better than us and that was why we came to Algiers with a game plan which, unfortunately, didn’t work for us.

“Also, two of my players Charles Okafor and Marshal Johnson had passport issues, one player Denis Nya sustained an injury during the warm-up and that altered the plans we had.

“We needed to move Dare Ojo to the centre-back position, which he did very well but we missed his experience in the midfield and it affected our game plan.”

“Having won the first leg, we knew that they (CR Belouizdad) will come out to attack us so our plan was to get at least a goal in the first half but we came up against a very good team,” he continued.

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“The way they played; one can tell that they have been playing together for a very long time. The first goal they scored was a good goal but the penalty against us wasn’t a good call but that is football.”

Even at the setback, Boboye has shifted his attention to the Nigerian top-flight – where they would be making their experience on the continent count.

“We have to go back and start preparing for the new NPFL season and I think that the exposure and experience we have garnered from these two games will help the coaching crew and the players in subsequent outings both in the league and at continental level.”