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Last Updated: Monday, 12 July, 2004, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Enyimba full of confidence
James Copnall
BBC West African football correspondent in Abidjan

Enyimba's players celebrating the win over Africa Sports of Ivory Coast
Enyimba of Nigeria are already looking to more celebrations

Nigerian club Enyimba's comfortable 3-0 win over Ivory Coast's Africa Sport on hostile territory in Abidjan was a real statement of intent.

The team from Aba, who won the African Champions League last season, were clearly determined to prove they have what it takes to retain their title.

Goals from Onyekachi Okonkwo, Obinna Nwaneri and substitute Ndidi Anumnu underlined a dominant away showing by Enyimba.

Yet two of the scorers - Okonkwo and Nwaneri - face sanctions from the club after apparently heading straight from Abidjan to South Africa to have trials with Orlando Pirates without permission.

Enyimba's chairman Felix Anyansi Agwu has criticised the duo.

"We don't condone any acts of indiscipline and the players will be sanctioned after a management meeting this weekend," he said.

"We've never met with any officials from Pirates or any other club to negotiate transfer of the players; we've received offers for some of our players but not the players in question," he added.

The pair contributed to an Enyimba performance that so impressed many Ivorian fans that they gathered outside the ground to applaud the Nigerian players as they drove off to their hotel.

In addition, Enyimba captain Ajibade Omolade was sufficiently impressed by his side's showing to make a bold prediction.

"We know we are going to lift the trophy again - by God's grace," he told BBC Sport.

Enyimba players celebrate scoring a goal against Africa Sports of Ivory Coast
Enyimba of Nigeria are confident of retaining their African title

Omolade said that the win over Africa Sport came as no surprise.

"We have a better coach, we have a better defence and we have a better goalkeeper," he explained.

"We missed many chances, but we knew we were going to win."

Enyimba coach Felix Okey Emordi, who took over last month from naturalised Australian Michael Urukalo, said he is aware there is still much to do if the team are to fulfil Omulade's promise.

"As far as I'm concerned, in all areas of the game we have to improve," he told BBC Sport.

"As African champions, all teams will be playing hard against us."

Africa Sport's French coach Richard Tardy accepted that his team were well beaten, but rued some costly mistakes.

"We made three individual errors, and gave them three presents," he complained.

"They are the African champions, so they scored three goals.

"We had as many chances, but didn't score. I am disappointed by the result, but not too much by how we played.

"We were facing a team which is very good with the ball at their feet. They are a very good team. "




SEE ALSO
Africa Sport 0-3 Enyimba
10 Jul 04  |  African
Caf dismiss Ismaili claims
07 Jun 04  |  African
2004 Champions League
28 Feb 03  |  African



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