Niger Tornadoes of Minna goalkeeper and skipper, Mustapha Aliko has admitted that his side have an uphill to fulfill the desires of Nigerians in this weekend’s CAF Confederations Cup match against Santoba Conakry of Guinea, as he noted that the country’s fans never accept excuses for defeat.
Speaking of his thoughts ahead of Saturday’s first leg, first round match in the qualifiers, billed to hold at Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, Aliko said Tornadoes have to do everything in order to ensure they win.
He acknowledged further during a radio programme monitored in Lagos that many people are rating his side low, considering that they were relegated from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) last season, but added that they are runners-up in the Federation Cup.
With that in mind, Aliko stressed that the Minna-based side will go all out to give the best they can to make Nigerians proud, and avoid any situation in which they would disappoint their highly expectant fans.
In their latest build-up friendly, The Ikon Allah boys scored four goals in their last test match ahead of this Saturday’s crunch clash with their Guinean visitors.
Niger Tornadoes romped to a 4-0 win over another local side, Standard FC, on Tuesday in their last warm-up match ahead of their upcoming fixture against Santoba FC.
The Ikon Allah Boys scored two goals in each half to highlight their readiness for their first assignment on the continent this weekend.
Segun Alebiosu, one of the new Tornadoes recruits, scored twice in the first half before the duo of Ahmadu Liman and Ibrahim Saidu completed the rout in the second half.
Before Tuesday’s big win, coach Bala Abubakar’s men had also recorded a 2-1 win over John Utaka Academy in another friendly.
Despite their relegation from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) to the second-tier, Tornadoes’ amazing run of form in the Federation Cup earned them a berth in the Caf Confederation Cup.
In the 2019 Federation Cup final, Tornadoes lost 4-3 on penalties to Kano Pillars, the second time in three years they have finished as runners-up in the competition, but they are now back to continent after 18 years’ absence.
If Tornadoes progress against Santoba, they will next face San Pedro of Ivory Coast, who drew bye in the first round, but Aliko says they are ready for every hurdle ahead of them.
Aliko said: “We are ready, and I hope we will do well. We have to do well, because we know that Nigerians do not like defeat.
“Nigerians are crazy about football and they love winning all the time. So, we have to statisfy our fans and all Nigerians this weekend; and that is what we will do.”