Rivers United draw in Benghazi, punch CAFCC Group Stage ticket


NPFL champions Rivers United gave a good account of themselves as they booked a place in the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup with a 1-1 draw against Libyan side Al Nasr in Benghazi. The Nigerian outfit will compete in the group stage of Africa’s second-tier club competition.

Having seen fellow Nigerian side Plateau United surrender a three-goal advantage in the same stadium to get knocked out hours earlier, Rivers United were keen to avoid suffering the same fate in their own clash. The Nigerian champions had trounced their Libyan opponents 5-0 in the first leg in Port Harcourt and sought to make the second leg a mere formality.

Faced by a partisan crowd hurling objects at them, Rivers United conceded first in Benghazi after 39 minutes of the first half. Libyan midfielder AbdulSalam Al-Fitori took advantage of a communication error between goalkeeper Seidu Mutawakilu and defender Denis Ndasi Kadiang. He fired home after both Rivers United players hesitated to take responsibility for the ball in their box.

The Nigerian champions kept their heads and stuck to their game plan and soon found themselves level after an exquisite finish from striker Nyima Nwagua. The burly striker met a low cross into the box with a simple heel flick, sending the ball beyond the sprawling goalkeeper to give his side an important away goal in the 57th minute.

Neither side managed to find the net for the remainder of the match and the Pride of Rivers became the Pride of Nigeria with their 6-1 aggregate victory. They have now become the country’s sole competitor in the CAF Interclub competition group stage, earning a $275,000 largesse from CAF.


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