Rivers United tops Group with win over Club Africain

Rivers United tops Group with win over Club Africain
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Rivers United is the only Nigerian side left on the continent after they made it to the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup.

The Pride of Rivers are in the same group as Dreams FC (Ghana), Club Africain (Tunisia), and Academica Petroleos do Lobito (Angola). They are seeking a place in the next round.

It made their third group match against Club Africain a must-win for the NPFL side.

Rivers United won their first game against the Angolan side 3-0 but faltered in the next match against Dreams FC. The Stanley Eguma-led side had hoped to pick a point at the Baba Yara Stadium to boost their chances of qualification from the group.

Against their more fancied Tunisian opponents, Rivers United secured maximum points, winning 1-0 in Uyo to go joint top of Group C.

Rivers United stunned Club Africain through Nyima Nwagua's goal

Nyima Nwagua scored the opener for Rivers United
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The first half was pretty tense, with the onus lying on the home side to take the game to their opponents.

Stanley Eguma urged his side to push forward and get the goal that would set them on the path to victory.

Their more illustrious opponents were in no mood to joke and counted on their previous encounters with Rivers United to get a favourable result.

Club Africain had less possession in the first half, with Rivers United dominating proceedings, but got no joy from the disciplined defending of the Tunisian side.

Rivers United had double the number of shots by Club Africain in the first half with six and a 58 per cent ball possession, but it counted for nothing as the desired goal eluded them.

Rivers United finally made the breakthrough late in the first half. With the first 45 minutes drawing to a close, Nyima Nwagua struck in the 43rd minute to soothe the frayed nerves of Rivers United supporters.

The first half finished with the Pride of Rivers leading 1-0.

Club Africain failed to stop Rivers United

Club Africain falls to Rivers United
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Rivers United started the second half in the same fashion as the first, taking the game to their more illustrious opponents.

The Stanley Eguma-led side did not want any excuses that would lead to a repeat of 2017 when they lost 2-0 at home to the Tunisians in this competition and 3-1 in the return leg.

The Tunisian coach decided to rejig his squad and made a change in the 46th minute, bringing on Wissem Ben Yahia for Federico Bikoro.

Despite the change, Rivers United still showed more hunger as they continued to mount pressure on the visitors.

The Tunisians made further substitutions, with Mohamed Amine Hamrouni making way for Adem Taous and Nigerian forward Kingsley Eduwo replaced by Hamdi Labidi.

Stanley Eguma responded with Joseph Onoja and Suleiman Abba replacing Samuel Adom Antwi and Echeta Ugonna Deputy.

Club Africain tried to throw the kitchen sink at Rivers United but yielded no results, as the game ended 1-0.

Rivers United vs Club Africain Confirmed Line ups

Rivers United line-up
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Rivers United
Akande Abiodun, Kazie Enyinnaya, Odeh Paul, Farouk Mohammed, Anthony Ohaegbu, Temple Emekayi, Deputy Echeta, Alex Oyowah, Nyima Nwagua, Asiegbu Shedrack, Samuel Antwi

Subs
Osagie Onisodumeya, Emmanuel Ampiah, Uche John, Abba Suleiman, Ukeme Williams, Albert Korvah,Onoja Joseph, Augustine Okejepha, Bernard Yao kouassi

Club Africain
Mouez Hassen, Ameur Omrani, Taouek Cherifi, Ghaith Zaalouni, Mohamed Amine Hamrouni, Ahmed Khalil, Federico Bikoro, Rached Arfaoui, Taieb Meziani, Bassem Srarfi, Kingsley Eduwo

Subs
Noureddine Farhati, Rami Bedoui, Skander Labidi, Wissem Ben Yahia, Ahmed Hammami, Houssem Eddine Souissi, Adem Garreb, Adem Taous, Hamdi Labid

This article was most recently revised and updated 7 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter. Chooka has a passion for football and has been a fan of Enugu Rangers (over 30 years) and Real Madrid (Since 1996).