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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Rivers United narrowly defeat USM Alger in the first leg of quarter-final match

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Rivers United battled to a lone goal victory over USM Alger in their first leg quarter-final CAF Confederation Cup clash on Sunday at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo.

The Nigerian representatives faced a formidable challenge from the reigning champions, who were desperate for a favourable result despite playing away from home.

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However, Rivers United emerged victorious, claiming a narrow 1-0 win.

Augustine Okejepha delivered the all-important goal in the 10th minute, securing a slim advantage for Rivers United ahead of the second leg next weekend in Algeria.

This victory keeps River United’s dream alive as they hope to become the first Nigerian team to conquer an African club competition since Enyimba’s 2-0 win over Hearts of Oak almost two decades ago in the CAF Super Cup.

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Though Rivers United’s dominance at home, which has seen them win all five games at home in this competition, is commendable, Stanley Eguma’s men have a lot to do in the second leg if they are to remain in contention.

Rivers United have struggled on the road (one win, one draw, two losses).

With this hard-fought victory, Rivers United hold the advantage going into the second leg.

If they can overcome USM Alger over two legs, they’ll face the winner of the North African clash between Abu Salim of Libya and Renaissance Berkane of Morocco.

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READ ALSO: CAF Confederation Cup: Rivers United face uphill battle against title holders

Both Eguma and Rivers United captain Nyima Nwagua have both expressed confidence they will get past the quarter-final stage this year, unlike the other time when they were edged out by Tanzanian club Young Africans.

“We understand the stakes involved. Last season was a bitter disappointment, but we learned from it. We’re ready to rectify our mistakes and surpass our previous achievements.” Nwagua told reporters in the build-up to Sunday’s first leg tie.

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