Unhappy Mali coach congratulates Rivers United

Unhappy Mali coach congratulates Rivers United


AS Real Bamako head coach, Pascal Pons has congratulated Rivers United FC after his side fell 0-4 to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) club in Sunday’s Caf Champions League clash in Port Harcourt.

Bernard Ovoke and Esosa Igbinoba claimed braces as the ‘Pride of Rivers’ produced a devastating attacking masterclass to put the Malians to the sword at a packed Yakubu Gowon Stadium.

Pons was sorry to see his side come out second best in the second leg, preliminary round clash but was quick to praise the victors who will now face Sudanese club, Al-Merrikh in the first round.

“Even though everyone knows why we lost, I wish Rivers United the best and I hope they go far in this competition,” he said at a packed press-conference shortly after the contest.

Pressed further on his rather cryptic response on his side’s defeat, Pons refused to be more forthcoming, insisting he would not want to be punished by Africa’s football-governing body, CAF.

“If everyone in the Stadium will be honest, we all know what happened (during the game).

“I had issues with the fourth goal but I will not want to be punished so I will rather not talk about it.

“My tactics in the second half were not flawed. We did not lose the game because our tactics were bad because they were not.

“I cannot offer words of advice to Rivers United’s technical manager, (Stanley Eguma) because his side beat my team and as such, he should be the one advising me.

“Eguma is competent enough so I believe he will know what to do with his team as they progress in the competition.

“I do not have an answer to questions on my future as coach of this football club (AS Real Bamako) because I am not the (Chairman of the board),” he said.

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