Exclusive: Rivers United Can Knockout Wydad Casablanca From CAF Champions League If… —Unuanel
Former Kwara United coach, Samson Unuanel says he’s optimistic Rivers United will oust Champions League holders Wydad Casablanca from the competition if they maintain the same fighting spirit in the return leg in Morocco.
Recall that The Port Harcourt-based side were 2-1 winners over the defending champions on Sunday, putting them in good stead for the return leg in the North African nation.
The second leg of the encounter takes place on Friday, October 14th, 2022.
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However, in an interview with Completesports.com, Unuanel stated that he was impressed with the never-say-die attitude of the players despite going a goal down.
“I am really impressed with the fighting spirit being displayed by the Rivers United players against an experience side like Wydad Casablanca.
“It was a game they showed their true character and applied pressure to get the needed victory and a goal advantage to take to the second leg in Morocco.
“I am optimistic the team can shock their North African opponent if they maintain the same fighting spirit in the second leg.”
Rivers United was founded in 2016 after the Rivers state government got permission to merge Dolphins FC and Sharks FC. Both clubs were run by the state government and were having difficulty with finances off the pitch. Sharks were relegated to the First Division in 2015 while Dolphins had barely escaped after a 2–2 draw on the final day. Rivers United’ crest contains both a shark and a dolphin as a result of the merge.
Stanley Eguma was appointed Rivers’ first coach and led them to a win in their first ever league match, 1–0 over Enyimba.
The club finished second in the 2016 Nigerian Premier League which qualified them for the 2017 CAF Champions League for the first time. A four-goal second-leg win over Mali’s AS Bamako with Esosa Igbinoba and Bernard Ovoke each scoring braces put Rivers past the preliminary round. However, they were eliminated by Sudan’s Al-Merrikh 4–3 on aggregate in the first round after losing a 3–0 first round lead.
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