Nairobi News

Sports

Akumu confident ahead of Champions League clash

Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Anthony Akumu asserts the ‘underdog’ tag will not affect his side in the Caf Champions League clash against Wydad Casablanca.

Cheifs will meet the Morrocans, who are seasoned contenders in this competition, on Sunday in a clash to be played in neutral Burkina Faso owing to coronavirus-led challenges.

“Wydad Athletic are a good side, they’ve been in the competition and they are still there, I don’t know for how many years, but they have been there and have been doing well,” he told Chiefs media.

“They are a semi-finalist or quarter-finalist team because every time they are there. On our side, maybe we will look like underdogs but that’s a good sign because maybe they don’t know us, and we don’t know them, so that’s another good thing.

“For us, we will just go there, play our game the way we know, and do our best to get maximum points. The game is played on a neutral ground is even better because it’s a place we don’t know and they are also not familiar with. That’s a good part about it.”

Chiefs began their Group C campaign with a 0-0 draw against Guinean champions Horoya at home on Tuesday.

That left the Soweto giants third on the standings and Akumu says that does not take away their Champions League ambitions despite their domestic woes.

“It’s very important to get three points. We have ambition in the group stage of the Champions League,” said Akumu.

If you see back in the PSL we are not doing that good, we are not collecting the points needed but this is the only trophy we have and looking forward to. It will be so good for us and the whole Kaizer Chiefs fraternity if we can get the three points it will give us a boost. I believe we can do that.

“I think the spirit is there and everyone is eager because we didn’t get maximum points in the last game which was the first game we played in the group stage. But coming to this now, we believe and trust that we prepared well, and we are ready for the game.”

After the Wydad match, Chiefs’ next Champions League assignment is hosting Petro Atletico on March 6.

Akumu is one of the most experienced Kenyan players in African football.

He’s featured for Kenyan bigwigs Gor Mahia, before enjoying stints in Denmark at Randers, Sudan club Al Khartoum, and Zesco United with whom he won the Zambia league title and featured in the semis of the Champions League.