El Hilal midfielder Azeez Shobowale is upbeat the Sudanese torchbearers can achieve qualification to the mini-league stage ahead of Akwa United of Nigeria, whom they face in the second leg on Wednesday away in Uyo.
A fortnight ago, 26-year-old Nigeria-born Shobowale aided Hilal to a 2-0 home win over Akwa United in Omdurman and hints the Sudanese side will fight their way through when the two sides in the return leg.
“We are going to Uyo to qualify for the next stage of the Confederation Cup,” Shobowale told sportandstudy.org
“Akwa United may carry the day but we will qualify and I’m confident about this because we are coming to fight our way through. I don’t believe in home advantage since it’s going to be 11 players of Hilal against 11 players of Akwa United. The fans will not be on the pitch to play for Akwa United,” stated Shobowale.
Below are excerpts from the interview with sportandstudy.org
Cafonline.com: How do you feel playing against a Nigerian side, Akwa United?
Azeez Shobowale: I know most of the players of Akwa United from my days playing in Nigeria and I was happy seeing them again in our last game.
We are going to Uyo to qualify for the next stage of the Total CAF Confederation Cup. Akwa United may carry the day but we will qualify and I’m confident about our this because we are coming to fight our way through. I don’t believe in home advantage since it’s going to be eleven players of Al Hilal against eleven players of Akwa United. The fans will not be on the pitch to play for Akwa United.
What will give you joy as a midfielder in the match?
Giving an assist in the game
How will you describe your experience since you moved to Al Hilal?
This is my second year at Hilal and I can say I’m playing at a high level now because I have the opportunity of playing in CAF competitions every year. Also, I play more games. At Hilal, they put too much pressure on the players and coaches because fans want to win all the time.
How different is the Sudanese league from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL)?
In Nigeria, the levels of the teams are almost the same thing and as such there is not much pressure on players for results; but at Hilal they want to win all the time.
How are you coping with the pressure?
I’m used to the pressure right from when I was in Nigeria where I had the opportunity of playing for teams with huge supporters’ base like Shooting Stars and Kano Pillars. Fans of Kano Pillars fans are patient compared to Hilal fans, and that’s just the difference.
What has been your best moment with Hilal?
My best moment with was when I scored the goal that secured our league trophy against our greatest rival El- Merreikh last season and that was my second league title with Al Hilal.
What has been the experience of continental football with Hilal?
I think the more you played the more exposure you get and it helps the confidence of the team. It has been an opportunity of playing on the biggest stage of football in Africa
Tuesday, 17 April 2018
CS la Mancha (Congo) vs AS Vita (DR Congo) (0-1)
USM Alger (Algeria) vs Plateau United (Nigeria) (1-2)
El Masry (Egypt) vs Mounana (Gabon) (1-1)
CR Belouizdad (Algeria) vs ASEC Mimosas (Cote d’Ivoire) (0-1)
Wednesday, 18 April 2018
Raja Club Athletic (Morocco) vs Zanaco (Zambia) (2-0)
CARA (Congo) vs Saint George (Ethiopia) (0-1)
Akwa United (Nigeria) vs El Hilal (Sudan) (0-2)
Supersport (South Africa) vs Gor Mahia (Kenya) (0-1)
Hilal Obied (Sudan) vs UD Songo (Mozambique) (1-3)
Enyimba (Nigeria) vs Bidvest (South Africa) (1-1)
Fosa Juniors (Madagascar) vs Aduana (Ghana) (1-6)
Wolaitta Dicha (Ethiopia) vs Young Africans (Tanzania) (0-2)
RS Berkane (Morocco) vs Generation Foot (Senegal) (1-3)
Niefang (Equatorial Guinea) vs Williamsville (0-2)
Djoliba (Mali) vs MFM (Nigeria) (1-0)
Costa do Sol (Mozambique) vs Rayon Sports (Rwanda0 (0-3)