• Plateau United also on top, hit Al Akdar 4-1
One of Nigeria’s representatives in this year’s CAF Confederation Cup competition, Rivers United, were in mercurial form, yesterday, when they thrashed visiting Al NASR 5-0 in the first leg of their group stage qualifying tie.
The Rivers boys, who dropped down to the Confederation Cup from the more prestigious Champions League after losing 6-0 to Wydad Casablanca in the last qualifying round, were in no mood for another disappoint as they swooped on the visitors right from kick off.
Starting by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) appointed 2.00 p.m., Rivers United took the lead in the 12th minute through a penalty kick slotted in by Ebube Duru. Kazie Enyinnaya made it 2-0 in the 15th minute, before Paul Acquah extended the lead in the 44th minute.
Duru converted another penalty kick in the 64th minute before Malachi Ohawume made it 5-0 for the NPFL champions in the 72nd minute with powerful shot.
Rivers United are now just a game away from reaching the money-spinning group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup. They will play the decisive leg in Libya next week.
Speaking after the game, Rivers United’s Bolaji Sakin said the disastrous outing in Morocco last time pushed them to unleash their anger on Al NASR.
He said: “When we conceded six goals in our last game against Wydad Casablanca, the players felt bad, but we had to rouse ourselves to do better today.
“We knew that Al NASR are very weak away and decided to capitalise on their weakness to beat them. Now, we are heading to Libya on a sound footing. We hope to beat them again to seal the tie.”
Nigeria’s second representatives in the competition, Plateau United, who also fell from the Champions League to the Confederation Cup, rose from the ashes of that narrow defeat by Esperance of Tunisia last time out, to whip another Libyan side, Al Akdar, 4-1, at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja.
Just like Rivers United, Plateau United dominated the game and got the opening goal in the 27th minute through Mustapha Yuga. Ifeanyi Emmanuel made it two just before halftime.
Albert Hilary netted the third goal in the 53rd minute, but the assistant referee flagged him offside.
Undaunted by that decision, Hilary scored a fantastic acrobatic goal in the 75th minute to make scores 3-0, before Al Akdar reduced the tally in the 85th minute.
Hilary completed his brace in the 90th minute to secure a 4-1 win for Plateau United.
The reverse fixture will hold in Libya next week.