April, 21 2023.
_As Maghreb Derby Pits USM Alger Against AS FAR of Morocco_
Rivers United quest for continental glory will resume on Sunday, when they play host to Tanzania’s Young Africans in the first leg of their 2023 TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup fixture, to be played in Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom State.
The encounter at the Godswill Apkabio Stadium, in Uyo is just one of four other first leg quarterfinal fixtures, to be played on Sunday, at designated venues.
To qualify for the last eight, the Pride of Rivers finished in 2nd spot in Group B with 12 points, and behind ASEC Mimosas of Côte d'Ivoire; having lost their opening and final games in a group that also had DC Motema Pembe of DR Congo and Diables Noires of Congo Brazzaville.
The fixture which comes with high stakes, considering the fact that Rivers United are Nigeria's only surviving clubside on the continent, following the ousting of Remo Stars, Plateau United and Kwara United earlier on.
South African Referee Tom Abongile will take charge of the encounter, to be assisted by Ivanildo Sanches from Angola, and Abelmiro Negro from Sao Tome.
Djindo Louis (Benin) is the reserved referee, while the VAR will be manned by Hamza El Fariq and Adil Zourak both from Morocco.
The couch quarterfinal, will also afford the reigning NPFL Champions an opportunity to sufficiently warm up for their eagerly awaited national Federation Cup Round of 64 mouthwatering clash against Enyimba of Aba, 3 days later; preparatory to their trip to Dar es Salaam, capital of Tanzania, to honour the second leg.
A North African derby pitting Algeria’s USM Alger and Morocco’s AS FAR, is no doubt the highlight of the last eight fixtures, with the first leg being a trip to Algiers.
FAR of Morocco is the only team in the quarterfinals to have previously won the continent's second tier, elite clubs competition (2005).
Since the 2006 season, this is the first time that the Moroccans were making it into the group stages.
Meanwhile, Egyptian side, Pyramids FC, who were finalists in the 2019-20 season, are home in Cairo against debutants Marumo Gallants of South Africa, and at the same time, 1998 Champions Asec Mimosas will be guests of Tunisian side, US Monastir in the first leg of their quarterfinal match-up.
The quarter final draw was conducted by Opoku Nti, a former midfielder for the Black Stars of Ghana, who won the CAF Champions League in 1983 with Asante Kototo before moving to Switzerland to play the rest of his club career; and the decisive second leg of all four, last eight fixtures have been scheduled for Sunday, April 30th; whilst the semifinals will be played on May 14th and 21st.
The final which is set to revert to the traditional home and away format has been scheduled to be played on June 4th and 11th.
Full TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup Draw
QF 1. Pyramids FC vs Marumo Gallants
QF 2. US Monastir vs Asec Mimosas
QF 3. USM Alger vs AS FAR
QF 4. Rivers United vs Yanga
QF4 vs QF1
QF2 vs QF3