Sudanese club side Al Ahly Shandy restricted seasoned continental club competition campaigners, CotonSport of Garoua to slender 1-0 home win in the Orange CAF Confederation Cup second quarter final two weeks ago and in this weekend's return match in Sudan, Al Shandy think they can cause an upset on home soil and qualify for the group stage. Ahead of the match at city Shandy stadium, Al Ahly Shandy's Tunisian coach Mohamed Kouki told Cafonline.com his team is ready to make their own piece of history by winning at home and qualify for group stage for the first time in the club's history.
There is only one goal separating you from CotonSport do you feel you can overturn the first leg result at home ?
We have great confidence in ourselves. First, we will work to avoid conceding a goal. CotonSport is a good team and they pose the danger and are capable of scoring goals. We will play with a balanced approach and will not rush to attack while neglecting our defensive duties. We must be patient, the goals can come at any moment in the game.
What is your assessment of the first game outcome in Garoua ?
A 1-0 defeat is good, but it is difficult at the same time. We have another game to play and we are not out of the competition yet but we are not through either. There is still plenty of football to be played before the tie is decided.
What strategy will you use considering you are the home team and need goals to go through?
We must not allow them space to play as their game. We need to put them under pressure in all areas and try control the match and dictating play right from the beginning of the game.
How do you intend to stop CotonSport scoring as this will mean Shandy will require more goals to qualify?
They have three very good strikers, their midfield line is also good so this means our defenders should play with a full concentration. We will defend in numbers as a team and we will also attack is similar fashion so hopefully this works out for us. We will work on exploiting what we think is a weakness we have noticed in their defense line.
Tell us about CotonSport, what kind of team is it going by what you saw in Cameroon?
They are a team know to play a brand of modern football. They are very good at using space to their advantage. We have to find a way to deal with this threat from them throughout the game. CotonSport is a very experienced team that has previously played in the CAF Champions League, but as l said before we have also noticed some weaknesses which we hope to exploit.
Are all your players injury free and available to play this weekend?
Injuries hit us after our game against Al Hilal in the Super League last week but we have a number of players at our disposal who can do the job. I can confirm the high morale and spirit in our camp, and we are determined to overcome the Cameroonians.
How much of an impact will the absence of defenders Osama,Faris Abdullah and Nigerian striker Francis Eke be if they don't recover in time to play?
It is true that these players are key to our campaign in Confederation Cup, but we will try to not let their absence effect us. We had previously faced such circumstances before and we dealt with it successfully.
You lost narrowly in Cameroon but do you believe you can win here and go through and if so how will you do that?
We can certainly do it, but a lot of hard work and a strong focus is needed on our part from kick off to the end. This match will be a difficult tactically and we call on our fans to turn up at the stadium in large numbers to the support the players.