Ethiopia champions, St. George will be up against Algerian side MC El Eulma side in the second leg of the CAF Champions League preliminary round on Sunday in Bahir Dar.
The hosts suffered a 1-0 loss in the first leg two weeks ago in the Algerian city of El Eulma and are hoping to turn the tables in the reverse fixture at the weekend.
The narrow margin defeat is seen as positive by the Ethiopian champions and their fans are expectant of a turnaround in the fortunes of their club in the premier continental club championship.
Brazilian coach of St. George, Santos is confident in the abilities of his charges to overturn the result and advance into the next round.
“Football in Algeria is a bit advanced. That gives advantage to the visiting side but despite this we are confident to get a good result on Sunday. A win in Bahir Dar will serve a perfect gift for our strong and untiring fans,” the Brazilian coach told Cafonline.com.
Midfielder Natnael Zeleke, who also features for the Ethiopian national team, Walias, remains optimistic about their chances.
“They (MC El Eulma) scored in the second half through penalty. In the second leg we are determined to overturn that deficit.
“Our side had once reached the lucrative group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup (2013). This time we want to repeat that feat because that gives you wider exposure to international matches,” Zeleke added.
Despite a distance of 700-km separating Addis Ababa, the base of St. George, and Bahir Dar, a regional capital, the club has organized about 40 buses for fans to travel and support the side to achieve their desired result.
The huge St. George fans will travel to Bahir Dar on Saturday. This is first time in 29 years that St. George will be hosting a continental game outside Addis Ababa.
In 1986, St. George faced Kenyan Brewery in Jima, a city located 450-km south of Addis Ababa at the First Round second leg of the defunct African Cup Winners’ Cup. In that encounter, St. George won 2-1. At the time, St. George were forced to go to Jima due to suspension of the Addis Ababa stadium over crowd related disturbances.
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