In Football there are certain things that puzzle the mind – things like why certain teams usually beat others at a particular stage of a competition. For instance, why has Nigeria always lost the final of the African Cup of Nations whenever the opponents are the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon or why haven’t the Super Eagles beaten a non-European opposition at the World Cup?
After observing the draws for the 2021/2021 CAF Confederations Cup, I noticed the group that Nigeria’s only representative, Enyimba FC, found themselves.
The People’s Elephants are grouped alongside ES Setif Of Algeria, Ahly Benghazi Of Libya & Orlando Pirates of South Africa. Many people may easily pick out the North African opposition as the major threat in the group but I see it a bit differently.
Enyimba have a good record against sides from Libya, Algeria and South Africa as well, but the striking thing is that South African clubs have always spelt doom for Enyimba at the group stage in the CAF Competitions.
In all the three previous times Enyimba were knocked out at the group stages of CAF competitions (CAF Champions league), there were South African teams in their group.
CHECK IT OUT:
In 2005 Enyimba were group alongside
Al Ahly, Raja Casablanca and Ajax Capetown. Enyimba lost out after finishing with 7 points, 3rd behind Al Ahly & Raja Casablanca.
In 2006 Enyimba were grouped alongside Accra Hearts Of Oak, Orlando Pirates and Asec Mimosa. Enyimba finished in third place with 8 points, behind Asec Mimosa and Orlando Pirates.
2016, Enyimba had Zamalek SC, Mamelodi Sundowns & ES Setif (who were eventually thrown out of the group). Enyimba ended up with 3 points from a possible 12 and finished 3rd behind Mamelodi Sundowns and Zamalek SC.
But the story must change this time. The team have shown great promise this season and must now rise to the occasion to bring an end to the South African group stage ghost.
At the end of the day, I strongly believe that THE SOUTH AFRICAN GROUP STAGE GHOST WILL BE BANISHED.