Nigerian champions Rivers United thrashed a sorry-looking daring Club Motema Pembe 3-1 in their rescheduled CAF Confederation Cup (CAFCC) match in Uyo on Thursday.
This Match Day 4 game was initially scheduled to hold on Wednesday but was eventually postponed for twenty-two hours after the visiting team reported difficulties in their flight schedule.
When they arrived on Match Day, they found their hosts too brutal to match with Ghanaian winger Paul Acquah netting a treble to put the hapless Congolese to the sword at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.
Indeed, Motema Pembe showed enough guts, winning duels and challenging every ball in the opening exchanges but their dogged first-half display was undone by Acquah’s first goal in first-half stoppage time; the winger timing his run before glancing home an impeccable free kick by in-form Ukeme Williams.
Motema Pembe again responded well after the break but Acquah struck again in the 56th minute, this time volleying home Emmanuel Ampiah’s cross acrobatically with his weaker left foot. The second goal took the sting out of the Congolese but they rose again.
Substitute Mydo Yallet halved the deficit twelve minutes from time when he headed home a cross that initially came off the crossbar but he reacted quickest to stab the ball home.
Acquah however had the last say on the game, firing low into the bottom right in stoppage time to complete a “perfect hattrick” and seal a 3-1 win for the hosts who maintain their three points gap at the top of the Group B table.
United are billed to face Congolese side Diables Noirs in their penultimate group stage game on March 19 but it looks as though that game will be shifted due to Nigerian governorship elections scheduled for March 18.
Awoniyi close to Forest return
Nottingham Forest manager, Steve Cooper, has confirmed that Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi’s return is imminent as he provided injury reports on three of his players.
Awoniyi, Cheikhou Kouyate and Moussa Niakhate are the trio that the head coach provided reports on. Forest are quite desperate to get some players back. Chris Wood and Emmanuel Dennis are the only fit centre-forwards, whilst Joe Worrall and Felipe are the only central defensive options.
Awoniyi has been a huge miss especially since he had just started to accustom to life in the Premier League and he was playing really well in the left-sided forward role that Cooper looked to utilise before his injury.
The head coach told the media, “Cheikhou (Kouyate) is not far away. Taiwo (Awoniyi) is not far away. Moussa (Niakhate) is not far away. They are three really big players for us. We’ll just focus on the next game, see who’s available and commit to the plan.”
Awoniyi has scored four goals in 16 PL appearances this season and his return would ease the burden on the likes of Brennan Johnson and Morgan Gibbs-White as the Reds aim to stay up.
This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago