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CAF Confederation Cup

Rivers United Hope To Overcome Académica Challenge In Confederation Cup Duel –

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Nigeria’s Rivers United will attempt to capitalise on the poor home run of Angola’s  Académica do Lobito as they clash this Sunday evening in the Match Day 5 of the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup at the Estádio Nacional 11 de Novembro.

 

Both feature in Group C. Rivers United are currently third on the log and hope for a leap. The Angola side has gone four matches without a win in the Group C series.

According to an Angola newspaper, Jornal de Angola, the Lobitanga team intends to arrest their no-win streak.

Their coach, João Pintar da Silva was quoted as saying,

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“We want to start the second round of the competition with a bang. In four matches played, Académica has not scored any points and it is with this in mind that we are preparing the game against River United.

“We know it will not be an easy task, because we will face a organized team that plays good football”, noting that the group is motivated after the victory against Santa Rita do Uíge.

In a related fixture, Ghana’s Dreams FC will face Club Africain of Tunisia  at the same time, at the Baba Yara Sport Stadium.

Club Africain and Dreams share the lead with 9 points each. Rivers United (six) and Académica (zero) occupy the immediate positions of the league table.

 

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Académica’s coach, João Pintar hopes to win against Rivers United.

Speaking to Jornal de Angola, João Pintar promised a different Academic than other games.

 

“We played at home and we have to accept our responsibilities. We can’t think of another result other than the three points in dispute. We’re going to make this game a real final. I’m convinced we’ll get a good result, which involves victory “, he remarked.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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CAF Confederation Cup

Morocco’s Berkane complete semi-final line-up after winning five-goal thriller

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Moroccan side Renaissance Berkane secured their place in the semi-finals of the  CAF Confederation Cup after winning the second-half five-goal thriller by defeating Libya’s Abu Salim 3-2 on Sunday.


The 2020 and 2022 title winners showcased their resilience in the second-leg game in a thrilling match that saw a total of five goals scored in a single half and also saw two players sent off.


Berkane player Omar El Arjoun and Hossam El Abani of Abu Salim were given their marching orders in stoppage time as both sides fought for victory.


This win for Berkane came after the first leg of the quarter-final match ended in a goalless draw in Benghazi.


Burkina Faso international, Asofu Dayo, was the hero as he scored the third goal for Berkane deep into stoppage time that sparked wild jubilation for the home side.

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This means Berkane advance 3-2 aggregate and will face off against the reigning champions, USM Alger, in what promises to be a highly anticipated clash.


The first half remained goalless despite attempts from both sides, with the home team facing strong resistance from the Libyan defence, which thwarted all attempts by the Tunisian coach Mouin Chaabani’s squad.


Abu Salim entered the second half with vigour, surprising the Moroccans with an early goal in the 47th minute by Hossam El Abani.

However, Senegalese player Boubacar Fall responded for Berkane in the 68th minute.


Moroccan defender Adil Tahif added the second goal for Berkane in the 72nd minute, bringing the score to 2-1 in favor of the Moroccans against the Libyans.

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Refusing to surrender, Abu Salim players managed to equalise in the 83rd minute through Abd El Moumen El Ayan, intensifying the match.


Youssef El Fahli scored the third goal for Renaissance Berkane in the 90+10th minute, but the goal was disallowed upon review by VAR.


The efforts of Berkane players paid off with a third goal in the 90+15th minute, sealing their qualification to the semi-finals of the competition.

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CAF Confederation Cup

Why VAR was absent at USM Alger vs Rivers United Confederation Cup match

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The Confederation of African Football, CAF has explained why the mandatory Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was not used in the epic quarter-finals return leg in which Algeria’s USM Alger edged Nigeria’s Rivers United out on 2-1 aggregate.

The continental body wrote: “Due to circumstances beyond CAF’s control, there will be no Video Assistant Referee (VAR)  technology at the CAF Confederation Cup fixture USM Alger and Rivers United in Algeria today.

“For the last few days, CAF has been negotiating with Algerian Authorities to release the VAR equipment that has been kept by Authorities at the entry Port in Oran, Algeria since Wednesday morning.

“Regrettably, the VAR equipment was only released at 19h30 today  (Sunday, the day of the match) making it impossible to drive the 400km distance between Oran and Algiers and make it on time for the match. ” 

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CAF Confederation Cup

Malian striker stops Nigeria’s Rivers flow in Confederation Cup

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Days after Mali inflicted a 2-0 defeat on Nigeria’s Super Eagles in Morocco, another Malian has scored another two goal licking on Nigeria’s continental flag bearer, Rivers United as they fell 2-0 to Algeria’s USM Alger.

Malian striker, Abdullah Kanou, scored both goals for USM Alger that secured the valuable victory that for his team, allowing them to reach the semi-finals for the second consecutive time on a 2-1 goal aggregate.
USM Alger rectified their defeat in the first leg in Nigeria with a 1-0 loss and  advanced to the last four and keep alive their hopes of retaining the title.


USM Alger started the match strongly, aiming to open the scoring, but they were unable to do so until the 37th minute when Kanou opened the scoring from close range.
The second half saw a significant increase in USM Alger’s attacking movements, hoping to extend their lead, but the play became more centralized in the midfield.


Rivers United came close to equalizing, but Andy Ogbai’s header hit the crossbar of the Algerian goalkeeper, Osama Ben Boute, in the 72nd minute.


Kanou struck again in the 74th minute, securing the second goal that guaranteed the defending champions’ qualification to the semi-finals.

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USM Alger will face Moroccan club Berkane in the semi-finals later on this month.

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