Rivers United secured their passage into the group stage of the 2023-24 CAF Confederation Cup with an assured 2-0 win at home to Burkina Faso-based outfit Etoile Filante.
The 2021-22 NPFL champions drew a bye in the first round of qualifying before being drawn to face Etoile Filante in the final round of qualifiers. The first leg ended all square in Cote d’Ivoire, with neither side able to find the back of the net.
The Pride of Rivers welcomed the Burkinabe side to the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium for the second leg, and wasted no time to establish their dominance. They were, however, wasteful in front of goal.
Rivers United were awarded a first-half penalty, but Endurance Ebedebiri saw his effort saved from 12 yards by the visitors’ goalkeeper.
The home side continued to push for a goal to match their dominance, and were awarded a second penalty in the second half for handball. Farouk Mohamed stepped up and saw his effort come back off the woodwork after 70 minutes, sparking a mass exodus of disgruntled fans from the stadium.
Rivers United had to wait until the 89th minute to make their dominance count through Alex Oyowah, who scored his first goal for the club since joining from Bayelsa United.
Minutes later, Oyowah found the back of the net from the penalty spot to round off the scoring and rubberstamp the result.
The Pride of Rivers will be back in the mix for the group stage draw for this season’s CAF Confederation Cup as Nigeria’s only representative after Bendel Insurance fell short against RS Berkane.