CAF CC Day-3: Tired Rivers United Off to Luanda on Friday, Eyes Victory Against DC Motema Pembe
February, 23 2023.
A contingent of players and officials of Rivers United are expected to fly out of Abuja, on Friday to Luanda, capital of Angola for their CAF Confederation Cup Day 3, fixture against DC Motema Pembe of the DR Congo.
The delegation which also has a representative of the Nigeria Football Federation and an interpreter on board, is expected to fly Askiya Airline, the same flight that air-lifted them to Brazzaville for the tie against Diables Noirs of Congo; and will have a stop over in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Pride of Rivers yesterday conceded in added time, to draw 2-2 with Bayelsa United, in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), and will have to make their way to Abuja, the nation's capital, before boarding an already arranged flight, that will take off from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
Speaking to the media, in Yenegoa yesterday, Head Coach Stanley Eguma had nothing but praise for his players, who he said have borne the pressure of the club's fixture congestion, while playing in the NPFL and on the continent, simultaneously.
Motema Pembe is based in Kinshasa, capital of the DR Congo, but the Confederation of African Football has since rejected their home ground as well as those of AS Vita Club; meaning only the home ground of TP Mazambe in Lubumbasi met CAF's high standard.
But from the look of things, Motema Pembe has opted to play in nearby Luanda, at the Estadio do 11 Novembro, rather than host their home games on the ground of their fierce domestic rivals, TP Mazambe in Lubumbasi.
While looking forward to a good outcome in Luanda, which will brighten the prospect of the NPFL Champions qualifying for the quarterfinals, Eguma welcomed the decision of the IMC to put the league on hold, until after the 2023 General Elections.
"My players have been through a lot, traveling and playing every 72 hours had been very tough. They deserve any test they can get, and after the break, we should be in better position to add to our points and challenge for the top spot, in our Group", he said.
That position is currently held by Lobi Stars of Makurdi who are on 19 points, 5 points clear of Rivers United who are 3rd on 14 points (with games in hand against Enugu Rangers and Abia Warriors), while Sunshine Stars of Akure are second, with 15 points, after nine round of matches.