'We Expected The Win' - History-Making Coach Egbo Explains How KF Tirana Beat Dinamo Tbilisi
Published: August 20, 2020
'We Expected The Win' - History-Making Coach Egbo Explains How KF Tirana Beat Dinamo Tbilisi
Former Super Eagles goalkeeper Ndubuisi Egbo created history on Wednesday evening by becoming the first Nigerian coach to lead a team in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers and against all odds, the Albanian champions upset Dinamo Tbilisi, who have a proud European record having won the old UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1981.

Goals from Agustin Torassa and Marsel Ismailgeci in the 45th and 86th minute respectively saw KF Tirana book their spot in the second qualifying round, where they face former champions Red Star Belgrade.

Egbo admitted that Dinamo Tbilisi were the fitter side because their league has started whereas his team only had two days of rest before returning to training following the conclusion of the Albanian Superliga.

"Of course we expected the win because we played according to how we planned the game, the strategy we'll use in the game and we succeeded in doing that," Egbo told allnigeriasoccer.com on Thursday morning.

"Dinamo Tbilisi is a strong team, they've already played ten games in the league, so psychologically, mentally and physically they were fitter than us.

"We finished our league without any rest and started training after two days, in all aspects they were much more organized than us.

"But we believed from the first to the last moment that if we can play compact, stay together nearer to each other, be a shorter team, keep them at bay, the pressing and the time of pressing and those are the things we did.

"They played very tactical, good football, they were aggressive and have many good players. They used their two left-back and right-back to attack so we tried to cut off those areas and we succeeded in doing that.

"We believe we can get a good result in that game especially as it was an away game, we knew that they'll be under pressure not us because they are playing at home.

"We capitalised on that, I told my players to go into the game and enjoy themselves, without any stress, without any emotion, without any pressure."

Next up for KF Tirana, they do battle with Red Star Belgrade in the second qualifying round of the Champions League on August 25, and the deeply religious Egbo believes another miracle can happen.

"We are facing another strong team, Red Star Belgrade of Serbia in the second round.

"Like I said in the first game, Dinamo was also a big team, the same like Red Star, we'll just take the game as it comes. We just focus on giving our maximum.

"We watched their last game in the Champions League against Europa FC, they have good players, they have a good team, they have young talented players and two black players that are very good.

"We will try to do our own best, to give our maximum and expectedly by the special grace of God we will get a good result in the game," Egbo concluded.

A member of the Super Eagles squads to the 2000 and 2002 Africa Cup of Nations, Egbo turned out for NITEL Vasco Enugu, NEPA, Julius Berger, El-Masry, Moroka Swallows, Tirana, El-Masry and Bylis before hanging up his boots.

Ifeanyi Emmanuel

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