The pressure is mounting on the Black Dolphins to take revenge after suffering their first loss in the group stage at the hands of the visitors
Florent Ibenge’s AS Vita Club face Ghana Premier League champions Aduana Stars in Kinshasa in the second leg of Caf Confederation Cup Group A fixture on Sunday, having lost 2-1 in the first game in Dormaa Ahenkro.
After occupying the top spot since matchday one, Vita have now dropped two places down midway, but have two home games, including Aduana’s visit to make amends in their run to the round of 16. With their impeccable home record after four games, there is still hope.
However, a section of the club’s supporters have started asking questions about the tactics of their coach, despite winning the local top-flight few days ago, and he has promised an improved performance for Sunday’s clash.
“We’ll make amends and hopefully go top or second after Sunday,” Ibenge said.
“We gave a good account of ourselves in the first leg but Aduana were lucky to have won the game. We’ll do our best and do things right too so that they can’t run away with even a point.
“The supporters are agitating for a win and it’s in the right direction. If we drop points on Sunday, our chances of qualifying will be further limited,” he added.
Aduana, on the other hand, have their own issues. They have been partly inactive and last played an away game almost eight weeks ago following the suspension on the top-flight by government.
They left for DR Congo with 15 players instead of 23 due to financial difficulties. Again, in Caf’s inter-club competitions, they have failed to pick a single point away and woefully conceded eight goals in their last three games.
However, it may be too early to predict Sunday’s outcome since the club is now under the guidance of a new coach Kenichi Yatsuhashi, who took over from Yussif Abubakar a fortnight ago.
The Japanese breathed life back into the Fire Club’s poor campaign thanks to a home victory over Vita in the first leg. He also believes he can repeat that feat in Kinshasa.
“I promise that we will bring the three points back to Ghana,” Kenichi told reporters in Accra, before departure.
“We have done everything possible, including change of captaincy, to bring the three points back. Many of our supporters won’t be able to make the journey but as they are supporting us and demanding the results, our players are pushing themselves to the best and we will bring the three points back,” he added.
In Casablanca, table toppers Raja will square off with Ivorian giants Asec Mimosas in the other game, after picking an all-important victory in Abidjan last week.