Enyimba International on Tuesday, became the first team to exit the Naija Super 8 tournament after their loss to Katsina United.
The Nigerian Professional League Champions, Enyimba International Football Club, have exited the Naija Super 8 tournament after they lost to Katsina United, Soccernet.ng reports.
The champions, who were tipped to win the competition, bowed out after a sub-par performance at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena.
A loss against Remo Stars on the opening day, a team they had not defeated in their last three meetings, and a draw to NPFL new boys, Sporting Lagos, meant the champions needed to channel their winning spirit to make their fans proud during their final group game, but that was not the case.
Enyimba’s coach, Finidi George, who earlier, maintained his stance that his team stood a chance of qualification, also mentioned that rest and injuries played vital roles in the team’s performances at the tournament.
The coach further noted that his boys needed a break, especially since continental competitions are on the cards as well.
Speaking to Soccernet.ng, the coach bemoaned his team’s lack of rest. He said; “When you get to this stage when players should be resting, we’re still playing, and coupled with injuries, as some of our players didn’t come, it’s a hard one. If that must have accepted the players, I can’t say.”
“The players do their best, but this is not what I know us to be, but fatigue is setting in, and immediately after this, we’re going into the pre-season, and I don’t know how we can get all these players ready for the CAF Super League, and the Champions League as well. We all need rest.”
Enyimba’s loss means qualification for other members of the group depends on the outcome of the Katsina United and Sporting Lagos tie, both sides pitched against each other and are level on points and goal difference.
A draw would mean both teams qualify, but any loss sees the winner of the tie go top of the group and go to the semi-final of the Naija Super 8 tournament, alongside Remo Stars.