Caf Confederation Cup: Bayelsa United to face CS Sfaxien after scaling Ashanti Golden Boys hurdle

Shina Oludare

Nigeria National League side Bayelsa United will lock horns with Tunisian outfit CS Sfaxien in the first round of the Caf Confederation Cup.

The Yenagoa-based outfit overpowered AS Ashanti Golden Boys 4-2 in a preliminary round showdown at the Yenagoa Township Stadium on Sunday evening.

Depreye Tebowe’s men reigned supreme thanks to a brace from Okardi Inikurogha as well as strikes from Favour Martins and Emo James.

The visitors got their goals through Moussa Keita who beat goalkeeper John Shaibu on two occasions. 

The fixture versus the 2021 Guinee Coupe Nationale runners-up was settled in one leg owing to the backdrop of a reported coup d’etat attempt in the country.

To reach the group stage of the tournament, Bayelsa United must negotiate their way past the eight-time Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 champions.

Despite the huge task ahead, goalkeeper Shaibu is positive about his team’s chances of making it past the North Africans.

“We thank God for today’s victory. It was not easy however we are proud that we got the job done,” the youngster told Goal.

“Knowing that the first round would be decided in just one match, we knew that Ashanti Gold would come out in full force and thankfully, we were very prepared for them.

“Let's put the scoreline aside, they are a very good team and I must commend them for their fighting spirit. I will also say a big thank you to my teammates for not giving up when it mattered the most.

“Having qualified for the next round, we will commence preparations immediately because our aim is to get to the semi-final of the Caf Confederation Cup at least.

“We don’t really know anything about this CF Sfaxien team but based on their past exploits in Africa, they are certainly a solid side.

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“However, football is not played on the pages of the newspaper, so we are not scared facing them or any other teams in Africa.

“All we owe ourselves is to prepare very well while hoping that luck smiles at us both home and away.

"We will review our match against Ashanti Gold and ensure that we spot our mistakes and correct them before our next outing."