Two of Nigeria’s representatives in continental competition, Kwara United and Rivers United, picked up impressive wins over their opponents in the first leg of their respective playoff matches.
In the CAF Champions League Playoffs, Rivers United thrashed Liberian outfit Watanga FC in their first leg meeting at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt. The Pride of Rivers secured a 3-0 win over their visitors in front of their raucous supporters.
Former Rangers International FC star Kenechukwu Agu needed only eight minutes as a Rivers United player to open his account with the club as he gave his side the lead. The Stanley Eguma-tutored outfit soon doubled their advantage through an Ebube Duru piledriver from outside the box in the 18th minute. With the first half drawing to a close, midfielder Paul Acquah added his name to the scoresheet to give the NPFL champions a comfortable lead going into half-time. They held onto their lead in the second half, securing a deserved 3-0 win over their Liberian opposition.
In Lagos, Kwara United hosted Nigerien side AS Douanes at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in their CAF Confederation Cup first leg clash. The Afonja Warriors, like Rivers United, secured a comprehensive 3-0 win in front of a largely partisan crowd in Lagos.
With the promise of a juicy bonus on the line, Kwara United showed they were up for business from the first blast of the whistle as debutant and former Abia Warriors captain Paul Samson opened the scoring after only five minutes. Their visitors were yet to come to terms with what had hit them when Wasiu Jimoh added a second for the Ilorin-based side from the penalty spot in the 17th minute. The home side were not done scoring as Jimoh doubled his tally in the 40th minute to hand his side a 3-0 lead. They held on throughout the second half and eased their foot off the pedal, with their dominant showing ending with a three-goal advantage.
Both Kwara United and Rivers United have sizeable leads to protect ahead of their second leg matches in Niger and Liberia, respectively. Nigeria’s other campaigner in the CAF Champions League, Plateau United, also held their own away to AS Mandji with a 2-2 draw.