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Sunshine Stars lines up F'Eagles, others for semis

Published by Guardian on Tue, 18 Sep 2012

Begins closed camping ahead clash with Al AhlyNIGERIA'S only surviving club in continental tourney, Sunshine Stars, has moved into closed camping preparatory to its crucial semi-final tie against Egyptian giant, Al Ahly FC.The Nigerians will host the North Africans in the first leg in the weekend of October 5 to 7, while the second leg tie comes up a fortnight later.Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, the Director (Administration) of Ondo State Football Agency (OSFA), Mike Idoko, said the club has already lined up a series of friendly games to fine-tune its preparation. He said: 'We are working on a series of friendly games, including playing the Flying Eagles and other top Nigerian clubs.'Al Ahly is a great team and we have to prepare very well. I know that with good preparation we can beat Al Ahly very well at home and that will make the second leg easy for us in Egypt. It is good we are paired with Al Ahly because this is a club we know too well, having studied them.'We are not losing sleep on the possibility of scaling the semi-final hurdles. But like I said, we have to prepare very well because any mistake at this stage of the competition would be costly.'According to Idoko, the fact that Sunshine Stars is the underdog compared to Al Ahly's past records in the CAF Champions League is motivating them to go the extra mile in their preparation.While Sunshine Stars will be battling Al Ahly, TP Mazembe of Congo will entertain Tunisian giant, Esperance. The East African side defeated Esperance in the final of the 2010 edition of the CAF Champions League.After the ban handed to Etoile midway into this year's competition, Sunshine came second with six points from a possible 12 while Esperance was top spot with nine points. On the other side, Al Ahly came top in Group B with 11 points while TP Mazembe finished second with 10 points.In the last football season, Sunshine Stars got to the semi-final of the CAF Confederations Cup but was eliminated by Club Africain of Tunisia.
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