Head Coach of AS Vita Florent Ibenge has described as “great achievement” his side’s victory over Kano Pillars in the preliminary round of the CAF Champions League at the weekend.
The Nigeria league champions lost 3-4 on aggregate to the Congolese side in the first round of the African continental competition despite winning 2-1 at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano.
The Kinshasa club, who won the competition 41 years ago, advanced 4-3 on aggregate having built a two-goal first-leg advantage last Sunday.
“I’m very happy because Kano Pillars are the champions of Nigeria and you know Nigeria is the champion of Africa and one of the best football nations in Africa. The victory was a great achievement for me,” Ibenge told Goal.
Explaining what tactics his team deployed to go through, Florent said: “We didn’t play against Kano Pillars [on Saturday]. We got many threats during the match, when they came back to score two goals. We were very lucky because we just came to defend and we didn’t play. We can do better than we did today in the next round.”
On his team’s ambition on the continent, he further said: “Well, last year, we were defeated in the second round by Zamalek and could not play in the quarter-final. Our target is to play in the quarter final.”
Most pundits would have predicted that 2009 semi-finalists Pillars would prevail and probably face South African side Kaizer Chiefs in March for a mini-league place.
However, Chiefs, who drew 1-1 with Black Africa in Namibia to cruise into the round of 32, will be relieved that Pillars have been eliminated in the soft encounter against AS Vita.