CAFCL: Young Africans 0-1 Rivers United
By Charles Mayuku in Dar es Salaam
In an otherwise tension socked atmosphere characterized by the antics of the host, this result stands out as brightly as the brilliant white shirts worn by the “Pride of Rivers” side on match day and the sounds of victory over “Yanga FC on Sunday evening.
A virtuoso goal from the head of Moses Omodumuke who was at the end of an assist from Auwal Ali Malam 10 minutes after the interval was enough to secure a first-leg lead in this CAF TotalEnergies Champions League 1st preliminary Round tie. But this was no smash-and-grab raid by a Nigerian outfit counter-attacking on the Continent.
The visitors might have scored in the opening 6 minutes with Captain Nelson Esor, whose quick feet landed him the box but his shot was blocked. United should have had another in the 37th minute and continued to go forward all evening. “Yanga FC had their opportunities too but, in the main, they were outhustled by wonderfully committed Rivers United side.
In the build-up to this game, Coach Stanley Eguma had to deal with the challenge of loosing four key players after the Covid-19 test that was released less than two hours to kick off revealed six members of the team’s contingent returned positive.
Fired up by the words of the Sole Administrator of the club Barr. Christopher Green, “belief and defensive stability would be fundamental to United’s chances against a highly motivated Yanga side. In the end, they displayed both qualities in abundance.
The second leg is still to come, of course, but this was a great performance on a great night capped by a great goal.
POST MATCH CONFERENCE
We can only hope that, as Coach Stanley Eguma also suggested in his post-game press conference, the job will be completed in Port Harcourt on Sunday.
Hear him: (Audio)
Rivers United will host Young Africans FC in the return leg on Sunday 19th September 2021 at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium Port Harcourt. The kickoff is scheduled for 4pm.