Rivers Utd zoom into Confed Cup group stage

By Sammy Wejinya on April 23, 2017

Views: 1,460

Nigerian side, Rivers United on Saturday reached the group stage of the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup after drawing 0-0 with Rayon Sports in Kigali to complete a 2-0 aggregate success in the playoff tie.

A 2-0 win for the ‘Pride of Rivers’ in the first leg in Port Harcourt six days ago meant Rayon had to win by three clear goals in the return fixture at the Amahoro Stadium on Saturday to progress to the next stage.

Playing in front of a near capacity crowd, United stood their ground and held out for a valiant 0-0 draw which saw them ease into the group stage of the revamped competition.

The visitors withstood predictable early pressure from the hosts and nearly silenced the Amahoro by snatching a shock lead, albeit an own goal, by Rayon Sports in the 18th minute.

Sakin did well to cross from the left but his dangerous delivery was diverted away for a corner by Jerry Mutsinzi with Guy Kuemian lurking at his shoulder.

Ten minutes later, Rivers United were thanking lady luck to see the score still even as Kwizera Pierrot curled a free kick inches wide from 25 yards.

Sakin almost gave United the lead on the stroke of half time but saw his volley fly just over Ndayisimiye Eric’s right hand post.

Rayon predictably stepped on the accelerator after the interval but met the United rear guard in uncompromising mood.

As they pressed up the pitch, United looked to exploit gaping holes and almost made ‘Gikundiro’ pay in the 54th minute when Emeka Ogbugh embarked on a mazy run on the flanks only to see his strike from a tight angle go over the bar.

Three minutes later, Rayon Sports seemed to have been handed a lifeline as Ifeanyi Nweke received a red card for catching Savio Dominique with a high boot.

Then came wave after wave of Rayon pressure but the Nigerians stood their ground, defending in gladiatorial fashion to produce a heroic shut out.

Nahimana Shassir almost set up a grand stand finish with a superb effort that almost crept in at Rotimi’s far post late in the second half.

“We lost to a better and more experienced side today and I want to say congratulations to Rivers United in their quest to win the CAF Confederation Cup,” head coach of Rayon Sports, Masudi Djuma told supersport.com after the game.

Technical manager of Rivers United, Stanley Eguma also spoke after the game.

“It was a tough match but it was what we expected.

“We had a tactical plan and even after we had a man sent off, we did not panic.

“I am pleased that we were able to get the job done and qualify for the group stage of the competition,” he said.

Rivers United thus become the 16th and final side to qualify for the group stage of the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup and are the only Nigerian club still left in inter CAF club competition.

•Sourced from supersport.com. Photo shows Rivers United line-up.

Source Daily Sports

Posted April 23, 2017


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