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Fidelis Ilechukwu: MFM not afraid of MC Alger’s home record

Published on: 08 March 2018

MFM FC head coach Fidelis Ilechukwu is confident his team will make it to the group stage of the CAF Champions League despite their slim 2-1 win against MC Alger in the first leg tie at the Agege Stadium on Stadium on Wednesday.

The Olukoya Boys toiled hard to record the win with Monsuru Bashiru scoring the winning goal five minutes from time off a powerful shot from outside the area.

Chijoke Akuneto had put the Lagos club ahead from the spot in the 36th minute, his second goal of the competition, but Amachi levelled scores for the visitors in the 55th minute.

The Algerians have a scary record at home in the competition this year having battered Atoho of Congo 9-0 in the previous round after losing 2-0 in the first leg.

But Ilechukwu is not intimidated by their record and insists his side will adopt a positive approach in the reverse fixture.

“We wanted a big win but that didn’t happen, so we have to move on and now think about the second leg in Algeria,” Ilechukwu stated in his post-match interview.

“We are going to adopt an attacking strategy against them in Algeria. At this point, there is nothing to be afraid of, is either we fight or get thrashed by them.

“We are aware of what they did to their last opponent at home in the previous round and won’t allow that to happen to us.”

The Algerians appeared to struggle under the hot weather condition especially in the first half in the game with MFM expected to face a difficult cold weather condition in Algiers in the reverse fixture.

The gaffer is however unperturbed by that prospect and is upbeat his team will adapt well to the weather.

“The weather is not a problem for us. We will make sure we arrive there on time and acclimitize well,” he continued.

“They (MC Alger) adapted well here, so I see no reason why we can’t do the same over there.”

MFM have struggled to score in the competition, recording three goals in two games, a figure Ilechukwu believes would have been better if they have some of their experienced forwards registered for the competition.

“I would have loved us to have bring in more players but it was wasn’t my fault that we were unable to do that,” he stated.

“In midfield, we had to force our number one player there (Chukwuka Onuwa) to play as he was not fit for the game and we had no better option there. The situation would have been different if we had signed Oche Salefu (now with Rivers United).

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