Rivers United marched into the second preliminary round of the 2021/22 CAF Champions League with a 1-0 victory over Tanzania’s Young Africans SC at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.
Rivers United had claimed a 1-0 win away from home in the first leg against their Tanzanian opposition and knew a draw at their Adokiye Amiesimaka fortress would be enough for them to seal their place in the second qualifying round of the CAF Champions League.
The Pride of Rivers started the match on the front foot as the pushed their opponents back into their own half and created spaces using good passing combinations. They had the ball in the back of the net as early as 15 minutes in through Malachi Ohawume, but the goal was chalked off by the assistant referee for offside. Duru Gideon came close with a well-struck freekick, and Chiamaka Madu was also guilty after being sent through on goal by captain Nelson Esor. The first half ended with neither side finding the net.
The second half started just as the first half did, with Rivers United putting on an excellent showing to control proceedings in the Champions League match. Last week’s hero Moses Omodumuke was guilty of wayward finishing as he missed a chance after receiving the ball from Ohawume.
Rivers United technical adviser Stanley Eguma opted to make two changes by the 51st minute, sending on former Kano Pillars midfielder Auwalu Ali and Uche Onwuasonaya. The duo, along with other substitutes, caused all sorts of problems with their energy and enthusiasm.
It was two of the Rivers United substitutes that combined perfectly to change the course of the match against Young Africans. Winger Ishaq Kayode showed great feet to draw in a number of challenges, which freed up his teammate Onwuasonaya to receive a pass. The midfielder fired home the shot in the 87th minute to give his side a deserved 1-0 lead.
Rivers United held on for a hugely important victory that puts them through to the second round of qualifiers, where they will face Sundanese side Al Hilal over two legs for a place in the 2021/22 CAF Champions League group stage.