Femi Solaja with agency report
Nigeriaâ€™s last standing team in continental campaign this season, Rivers United FC have an uphill task to fulfill this afternoon as they take on Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) FC in the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup Group A game at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt.
The match is a must-win for the Nigerian team as anything contrary to victory will amount to crashing out of the second tier CAF competition. Rivers United lost the first leg in 1-2 in Kampala and are placed fourth on the Group A standings with three points. They are three points behind log leaders FUS Rabat from Morocco.
KCCA is second in standings also on six points. They are only behind group leaders Rabat on goal difference.
This make the group a dicey one with Tunisian representatives, Club Africain, also in the fray to progress to the quarter final.
However, Rivers United Technical Manager, Stanley Eguma, is upbeat about the match. He also knows that anything short of victory today amounts to saying goodbye to the next stage.
â€œIt is a do-or-die game for us,â€ began the experienced gaffer who helped Enyimba (as assistant to Okey Emordi in 2005) claim CAF Champions League success.
Eguma who also coached Dolphins severally in inter-CAF club competitions in previous seasons believes that as the last Nigerian team in continental campaign this season, Rivers United cannot afford to fail the nation.
Despite United coming off a narrow 1-0 defeat to Lobi United in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) match in Makurdi last Friday, Bolaji Sakin, who scored the goal against KCCA in Kampala, will be hoping to find the back of the net again and help his side win at home.
Rivers midfielder Bernard Ovoke is also hoping that they can bounce back to winning ways against KCCA after losing to Lobi.
â€œWe will surely not allow the defeat affect our game on Tuesday (today), as every game comes with its unique style and approach,” Ovoke told Goal.com
â€œAnd we are going all out to claim maximum points in this game because we really need the three points and we are already working towards that.
â€œIâ€™m not satisfied with my goals tally at the moment because set a-20 goal target for myself in all competitions this season and Iâ€™m not anywhere near that,” he added.
“So, I must continue to work hard to achieve my target, starting from our game against KCCA.â€
On player Rivers United needs to watch out for in the KCCA team today is Derrick Nsibambi. The striker hit the back of the net twice for his side against Rivers in Kampala.
KCCA Head Coach, Hillary Mutebi, having secured victory at home is also targeting a win in Port Harcourt in order to move to the top of the standings.
â€œThe (issue) of goals difference is worrying so we have to try to outscore the opponent,” Mutebi told Rivers’ official website.
â€œIn all our away games in the Confederation Cup, we have only failed to score against FUS Rabat and El-Masry; we always score away from home.
â€œRivers United is a very good team but we (KCCA) are confident we can rub shoulders with them because we have tested the best,” concludes the KCCA gaffer ahead of todayâ€™s game in the Garden City.