Nigeria’s two representatives in the 2022/2023 CAF Champions League (TotalEnergiesCAFCL) Rivers United and Plateau United could only manage narrow wins in their first round first leg games decided on Sunday.
Both teams hosted difficult North African teams on Sunday and they enjoyed identical fortunes with their visitors scoring first before they turned it around for 2-1 wins.
Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions Rivers United hosted reigning Champions League kings Wydad Casablanca at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt with the game ending in a narrow triumph.
Wydad got infront in the game in the 33rd minute through Sambou Bouly who tapped home into an empty net from what looked like an offside position.
United however levelled just two minutes later when Malachi Ohawume’s effort from just inside the box squirmed under the body of Wydad goalkeeper Ahmed Tagnaouti and just over the goal line.
Stanley Eguma’s team then got what turned out to be the winner in the 54th minute courtesy of Ghanaian winger Paul Acquah who arrowed home into the top right after he was fed by Morice Chukwu.
FT: Rivers United 2-1 Wydad Casablanca— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) October 9, 2022
Not a mountain to climb but a deep ditch awaits Rivers United in the second leg in Casablanca next weekend.#TotalEnergiesCAFCL
The Pride of Rivers could not extend their lead partly due to the brilliance of Tagnaouti and a couple of gilt-edge misses. The return leg holds next Sunday at the famous Mohammed V Complex in Casablanca at 8pm Nigerian time.
Plateau United on their own also had to come back from an early setback against Esperance Sportive du Tunis at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Sunday evening.
The visitors took the lead in the 28th minute through experienced attacker Anice Badri who finished Benayad’s good work to stun the hosts.
United however turned it around before half time through some wicked long throws by specialist Daniel Itodo. First, defender Ifeanyi Emmanuel headed home the equaliser after Itodo’s throw had caused chaos in the box ten minutes before half time.
Fidelis Ilechukwu’s wards then completed the turnaround after forward Ibrahim Mustapha headed home another Itodo long throw. There were no further goals in the game setting the tone for a tricky second leg game in Tunis on Saturday at 5pm Nigerian time.
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