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11.04.2007 Football News

Iddrisu confident of Asec advance

By gfa
Iddrisu confident of Asec advance

Striker Abdul Nafiu Iddrisu believes Asec will qualify for the group stage of the Champions League ahead of Wydad Casablanca.

The Ghana Olympic striker scored both goals as the Ivorian side won 2-0 against the Moroccans in the first leg, third round encounter in Abidjan on Sunday.

But despite keeping a clean sheet, the battle for a place in the group phase is far from over with the return match in two weeks' time.

Asec also won 2-0 at home to Raja, the great Casablanca rivals of Wydad, in the 2002 semi-finals only to be buried under a four-goal avalanche in the Moroccan city.

But Iddrisu says Asec will advance because of their good away record in the competition so far, having won 1-0 in their previous away qualifier against Kallon Stars of Sierra Leone.

"I have to admit that the Moroccans looked very mature from the game they played," Iddrisu told BBC Sport.

"But we have struggled at home this season and played well in our away matches as we did in the game against FC Kallon, our last away game in the competition.

"We are confident that we will put up a similar performance to qualify for the group stage."

The Ivorians are attempting to reach the group phase of the competition for a record-breaking eighth time in 11 years.

But their task has been made difficult by the four-match ban imposed by Caf on their coach Patrick Liewig.

The Frenchman watched Sunday's game from a stand at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium and will not be on the bench for the return leg.

Iddrisu says the absence of Liewig will not impact negatively on the team for the game in Casablanca.

"Coach Liewig trains with us everyday and even though he sits in the stands during the game, he communicates effectively with the technical bench."

Credit: BBC