FC Johansen and Republic Of Sierra Leone Armed Force (RSLAF) will go head to head this weekend with their counterparts Fath Union Sport de Rabat (FUS Rabat) of Morocco and Nigerian side Wikki Tourist FC at the Siaka Stevens stadium respectively in the first leg of the 53th edition of the Total CAF Champions league and CAF Confederation Cup preliminary qualifiers respectively.
Both sides (FUS Rabat) & (Wikki Tourist) lost their domestic weekend fixtures ahead of Saturday and Sunday away showdown. FUS Rabat lost away 1-0 to RSB Berkane while Wikki Tourish bowed to Lobi Stars 2-0.
Fath Union Sport de Rabat were unbeaten in last season’s CAF Confederation cup group stage. They topped Group B taking 12 points from their six group stage matches and even seeing off Tunisian heavyweights Etoile du Sahel.
FC Johansen lost two out of ten friendly matches played away from home. However, Coach John Keister has some bad news as right back defender Ibrahim Kamara aka `Soja` will missed out through suspension.
Speaking to this press ahead of the match, Keister said he is optimistic they would edge the visitors in Saturday`s showdown. "Even though it will be a difficult match especially playing against a team with perfect CAF records, yet we've got our minds settled and playing at home would also motivate and may be give us great chance to progress to the next stage of the qualifiers,” he assured.
“On paper, FUS Rabat are the favorite, but we are going out there to prove our critics wrong. We are physically & mentally focus. We had good friendly matches against Barracks Young Controllers (BYC) and the Liberian CAF Confederation representative Club Brewery in a double-friendly tie in Liberia a few days ago”.
“Now we can switch our attention to Saturday`s match. We`ve worked on the tactics on how to nullify their threats and to really impact our own play to realize our dream of qualifying to the next stage. We know how important this game is and my boys are physically and mentally prepared.”
He however called on Sierra Leoneans to storm the Siaka Stevens stadium to support his side. The visitors FUS Rabat have only won once in their last five matches in the Moroccan Championship (known as Botola Maroc Telecom).