CAF Confederation Cup: Rivers United and Plateau United reply critics in style

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Rivers United and Plateau United put their Champions League disappointments behind them to record big wins in the first-leg, Confederation Cup playoffs.

Big questions were asked of the ability of NPFL clubs to compete on the Continental stage when Rivers United and Plateau United were knocked out of the CAF Champions League.

 

It rained goals at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt as Rivers United defeated Al Nasr Benghazi 5-0 and Plateau United followed suit triumphing 4-1 over Al Akhdar SC at the M.K.O Abiola Stadium, in their CAF Confederation Cup qualifiers.

 

The goals came early for Rivers United and after 12 minutes, Ebube Duru dispatched a penalty to give Rivers the early lead and three minutes after Enyinnaya Kazie joined the party and scored to double the lead.

Encouraged by the timid defence in front of them, Ghana Midfielder Paul Acquah scored the third just a minute before the interval to cap an impressively dominant first half.

The second-half was more of the same as it was now a common sight of Rivers United dictating proceedings and Al Nasr Benghazi playing catch up.

In the 64th minute Rivers United won another penalty and Ebube Duru duly dispatched it to give Rivers the fourth goal and grab his brace before Malachi Ohawuma rounded off the scoring in the 72nd minute to give the hosts a massive advantage heading to the return Leg away.

Plateau United also started strongly against Al Akhdar and took a deserving lead in the 27th Minute as Ibrahim Mustapha dispatched assuredly to give them the lead.

Just 10 minutes after, Plateau United doubled their lead through Onyebuchi Ifeanyi in the 40th minute, preserve the first-half lead for Fidelis Ilechukwu’s side.

 

The second half was tricky as Al Akhdar came out of their shell in an attempt to halve the deficit but it was Plateau United that got the next goal.

 

Albert Hilary was the goal scorer as he finished well in the 72nd minute to give Plateau a three-goal lead, 10 minutes after Al Akhdar pulled one back.

But, Hilary was a man on a mission as his second goal of the match ensured that the three-goal advantage status quo was maintained and Plateau United also walked away with a big victory.

With one leg in the group stages of the CAF Confederations cup, Rivers and Plateau United only need to avoid any major slip-up to advance.

 

Also the progress of both teams will be good news for the participation of Nigerian teams on the Continent as CAF rules states that a least one team must be in the group stage and also make it to at least the Quarter-finals to have two teams in the CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederations Cup.

With the two teams firmly in the driving seat to qualify for the group stages of the CAF Confederations cup the NPFL is set to be the biggest winner.

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