Confed Cup: Rivers United target early qualification

Nigerian champions Rivers United put on a dominant performance at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Thursday, thrashing Club Motema Pembe 3-1 in their rescheduled CAF Confederation Cup (CAFCC) match. Ghanaian winger Paul Acquah scored a perfect hattrick as the hosts kept their three points gap at the top of the Group B table.

The visitors, Motema Pembe, put up a brave fight in the opening exchanges but the Nigerian team proved too much for them. Acquah scored in first-half stoppage time, volleying home a cross acrobatically with his weaker left foot in the 56th minute, and firing low into the bottom right in stoppage time to seal the 3-1 win.

The win was further boosted by the news that Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi’s return is imminent, as Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper confirmed that the trio of Awoniyi, Cheikhou Kouyate and Moussa Niakhate are “not far away” from a return. Awoniyi has scored four goals in 16 PL appearances this season.

United are billed to face Congolese side Diables Noirs in their penultimate group stage game on March 19 but it looks as though that game will be shifted due to Nigerian governorship elections scheduled for March 18.

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