This weekend in the caf champions league,sunshine fc of nigeria will be faced with the audacious task of climbing a rough and tall mountain in the desert in the 2nd leg of the caf champions league semi-final, having played a 3-3 draw in Ijebu Ode Ogun state Nigeria with Ahly of egypt,for them to survive they need more than a miracle as they have been promised hell by oppossition coach and that the desert may be hotter than expected for the Akure based club,little wonder the management of the team seek and got the blessings of Bishop David Oyedepo at the cannan land in ota before embarking on the journey to the city of the pyramids,as they attempt to emulate kano pillars' feat of 2009 when pillars eliminated the africa giant,against all odds, from the competition with a 2-2 draw.
Ahly are firmly in the driving seat. They know that Sunshine Stars will have to attack because they need an outright victory to advance out at least a 4-4 draw and that could leave the Nigerians exposed and vulnerable at the back.
Ahly coach Hossam Al Badry is preparing for Sunshine to come forward, he told BCC sport that he expect sunshine to attack from onset so that his team can benefit from their defensive frailities
"I expect our opponents to attack from the start as a draw does not favour them. Sunshine have not lost hope of reaching the final and I anticipate they will fight to the end."
The match will be played at the June 30 stadium, a venue the Cairo club will be using for the first time and which will be virtually empty with the team forced once again to play behind closed doors.
No spectators have been permitted at Ahly home fixtures after more than 70 died in post-match rioting after the Cairo club lost a domestic league match against bitter rivals Al Masry last February in Port Said.
Sunshine coach Gbenga Ogunbote blames a pre-first leg strike over unpaid signing-on fees for a below-par showing in which his side constantly played catch-up, wiping out 2-0 and 3-2 deficits and hope for a better show in cairo
"We trained for only four days and that is not enough when you are facing Ahly. My boys were unable to raise their game at crucial periods and I hope for a much better showing in Cairo."
The winner of the match will face the winner of the TP Mzembe/ Esperance,the other semi final clash in tunisia,both teams have plenty to play for as both team end it in a goalless draw
The final will be staged over two legs during November with a two-week break between fixtures and the champions pocket $1.5m plus a place at the 2012 Club World Cup in Japan.
words by olusola adebayo with additional report from the Bcc sports