The head coach of Rivers United, Stanley Eguma, has apologized to the club’s supporters after a lowly-rated Young Africans of Tanzania knocked his team out of the 2022-2023 CAF Confederation Cup.
Rivers United were flying in the group stage as they made it out of the stage with a game in hand. Unfortunately, they were not able to reciprocate that form in the quarter-final stage.
Young Africans of Tanzania visited Nigeria on April 23 for the first leg of the quarter-final round. To the surprise of many, the visiting team beat Rivers 2-0 in Uyo.
In the second leg, Stanley Eguma and his boys were expected to beat the Tanzanian side 3-0 to overturn the first-leg deficit but they were not able to do so. They drew 0-0 in Dar es Salaam as the Young Africans scale through 2-0 on aggregate.
Though this season happens to be the first time Rivers United made it to the quarter-finals stage of the Confederation Cup, they were expected to go beyond the stage given that they are the reigning champions of the Nigeria Professional Football League.
While apologizing to the football enthusiasts who believed in the team, Stanley Eguma admitted that Rivers United were knocked out of the game when they lost 2-0 in the first leg of the tie.
“Unfortunately, we have to exit the competition, but we have come a long way and in the history of the team, this is the first time we are reaching this stage, so we have done well,” the football tactician said.
“The thing is, Nigerians had a lot of hope in us based on our performance so far, and I think losing 2-0 in Nigeria cost us the fixture. If we had got a better result at home, we would have qualified here. We tried to get a goal as early as possible in the first half but unfortunately, we couldn’t. We also tried the flanks in the second half too.
“It’s a lesson for us and we also use this opportunity to apologize to Nigerians who had so much hope in us being the only team on the continent, next time we will do better.”
What next for Stanley Eguma and his team?
Rivers United will resume their domestic engagement on Thursday when they face Enyimba in a crucial Federation Cup round of 64 games in Uyo.
After that, coach Stanley Eguma and his team will turn their attention to the NPFL where they still have a home game against Bayelsa United and an away game against Rivers United.
Apart from that, they have three games in hand that must be played before the season ends. The games are against Doma United, Wikki Tourists, and Sunshine Stars.
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