Nigeria’s representatives in this year’s CAF Confederation Cup, Rivers United, will hope to take a major step towards progressing into the next round of the competition when they face Congolese side, Motema Pembe, at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo on Wednesday.
The Pride of Rivers are back to their adopted home on match-day four after recording a famous 1-0 win over the same opponents in Luanda on match-day three.
Ghanaian star, Paul Acquah, scored the winner for the Nigerian champions, who finished the game with 10 men after Ebube Duru was sent off late in the first half.
The result sent them top of Group B, with six points from three games, two points clear of second-place ASEC Mimosas and Diables Noirs of Congo Brazzaville, who are tied on the same points but the Ivorian side has a better head-to-head record against the Congolese team.
Speaking ahead of the game Rivers United coach, Stanley Eguma, admits that his team are well aware of the importance of a good result as they have worked hard to complete the double over the Congolese and secure qualification to the next round as quickly as possible.
“This point in the group stage is very dicey,” Eguma said.
“Every club are doing what they can to earn a ticket to the next round. We know it’s tough because we played the same opponents last week and it was a hard-fought victory for us.
“So, coming back to play the same team at home, we know they will be looking for a revenge, but we are also prepared to get our tactics right to get the victory. We are prepared.”
“Learning from our mistakes in our first game was a big factor for us and it’s the reason we are gaining this momentum and I believe we will keep working hard until we achieve qualification.”
A win for Rivers United in Uyo will see them move to nine points in the group with two games left to play and they could book their spot in the next stage of the competition by avoiding defeat in the next home game against Diables Noirs.
The other Group B fixture will see ASEC Mimosas and Diables Noirs clash. Both teams are locked on four points, but the Congolese side, who were beaten in Abidjan have a better goal difference.
While they are busy on the continent, Rivers United currently occupies a play-off position in Group B with 15 points and a game in hand against Enugu Rangers to come on March 15.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 week ago