Excitement has reached fever pitch in Sudan as Al Merrikh supporters prepare to rally behind their team ahead of the crucial CAF Champions League preliminary second leg encounter with Township Rollers.
Following their team’s humiliating 3 ÔÇô 0 loss, ‘The Red Devils’ supporters now seek to be the twelfth man their team needs when they host Rollers at the Red Castle in Omdurman this coming Wednesday.
Despite allegations that the supporters are not happy with their coach and players following their loss to the unheralded Rollers, early indications are that they will set aside differences and rally behind their team. Dubbed fifth in African club rankings, the club’s form dipped after losing key players. It has emerged that about eight of their players that featured against Rollers were debutants in the CAF competition.
However, Sudanese supporters believe that mass presence at the game will be beneficial to baffle Rollers at the stadium. It is reported that despite lack of faith in their players to reverse results, supporters believe their support is vital for the club in their twelfth player role at the stadium.
In their official club page, Al Merrikh supporters confessed that their club has lost the quality of players that could turn around results. One supporter said “despite the coach saying it is possible to turn around the results, we should be realistic and confess that the quality of players in camp is questionable.”
Thousands of supporters are expected to throng the clash to cheer ‘Mars’ as Al Merrikh is certainly called in the Arabic nation. The club’s supporters are eager to witness the club’s bid of overturning the score line and proceeding to the next round of the tournament.
While Al Merrikh and two other Sudanese clubs bowed out of the CAF Champions league last season when football governing body FIFA suspended Sudan Football Association (SFA) after alleged government interference in football matters, the club will be disappointed by the early exit in the competition.
Al Merrikh players and supporters got a morale boost this past Thursday as they beat a visiting Wad Hashim Sennar 2 -1 at a packed Al Merrikh stadium in their first league outing of the season.
Media reports in Sudan suggest that the club had requested that the television feed for the match be cancelled to attract mass support capable of intimidating visitors at the stadium, something which seems to have worked well.
‘The Red Devils’ will now be hoping for more of the same when they welcome Rollers to their ‘Red Castle’ hell hole.
Meanwhile, winners of last season’s Mascom Top 8 Jwaneng Galaxy will host Mozambican side Costa Dol Sol in the second leg of the CAF Confederation cup at the National stadium on Wednesday evening.
Galaxy will go into the weekend encounter seeking for reversal of fortunes following their 1 ÔÇô 0 loss away to their visitors in Mozambique.