Thursday, April 18, 2024

Confed Cup: Rivers United Eyes Final After USM Slim Lead

Rivers United coach Stanley Eguma remains optimistic that his team can weather the storm and reach the final of this season’s CAF Confederation Cup despite holding a slim 1-0 advantage in the first leg of their quarter-finals clash against champions USM Alger

Augustine Okejepha’s 10th minute strike was the difference between Rivers United and the Algerians on Sunday at their adopted home ground in Uyo, as another pulsating 90 minutes await the Nigerian club in Algeria next Sunday.

Eguma, who made a return to the dugout for the clash, however, is looking at the bright side of the first leg result before they make the trip to North Africa on Sunday.

“The most important thing in this game was to win and if you look at last season at this same stage, we lost at home 2-0 and we put up a good performance but we crashed out. We have won this one and we will intensify our effort and put up a good fight there and I believe we can come out with a better result than last year,” Eguma said.

“I had a little health issue and I was off and I’m back. I think the team is in a better stead to contest for the title. We are still focused,” he added.

Eguma’s side dominated the first leg in Uyo and the gaffer rued their inability to convert their numerous chances.

“We scored within 10 minutes because we played with high intensity and that yielded an early goal. One would have expected the players to continue but we couldn’t convert our chances. We outclassed them in terms of possession and we did well generally. I think the scoreline didn’t reflect the standard of the game as we played.”

Rivers United are Nigeria’s only representatives on the continent this season and are also in the last eight of the competition for the second consecutive season.

They were knocked out at this stage by Tanzanian side, Young Africans, last season.

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