CAFCC: Eguma Gives Reasons Why Rivers United Struggled In Their Home Win Over Etoile Filante

The Technical Manager of Rivers United, Stanley Eguma has attributed his side’s struggle against Etoile Filante of Burkina Faso to player’s anxiety and match rustiness as a result of lack of competitive matches.

Rivers United secured qualification to the group stages of the CAF Confederations cup after defeating Etoile Filante of Burkina Faso 2-0 on Sunday in the return fixture of the second preliminary round at the Adokiye Amiesimaka stadium in Port Harcourt.

The Pride of Rivers left it late but a brace from Alex Oyowah was enough to fire them into the group stage of the competition with a 2-0 aggregate result.

“It was a good game. Actually, we prepared to win this game convincingly but it turned out to be a very difficult game. We knew our opponents will come to pack the bus because they’ll want the game to go into penalties, and it almost worked for them. I think our undoing was losing those penalties due to over anxiety from my players. They were overzealous as the pressure was very much on them.

“Thank God we showed character towards the end of the game, bounced back and got those two goals. It was a difficult game. I thank the players for getting the victory. We’ll take it from there as we still have hope for the next stage of the competition.” expressed Eguma.

The Rivers United gaffer also explained the reason behind some of his substitutions during the game.

“Some of my players have not played at this stage before. Someone like Gibson (Mark) couldn’t replicate what he did in training when he came in. He was consumed by the game and couldn’t contribute anything so, I had no option than to remove him and put someone who will give me something better. It is part of the game. The hope of Nigerians is on this game and so, I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risk.”

Rivers United was uncoordinated at times as they struggled, for most part of the match, to breakdown a determined and resolute Etoile Filante’s defense, before scoring two late goals to ensure qualification to the group stage.

“It wasn’t a bad game all through because we created a lot of chances but couldn’t convert them because of anxiety as most of them have not played for a long time. This players have not played any competitive match this season, except the first leg which we played in Yamoussoukro.

“Just coming from the playing ground to play at this level of CAF is not easy so, sometimes, we absolve some of these mistakes. I believe with the league starting and players playing week in week out, we’ll come out a better side in future.” Coach Eguma concluded.

Rivers United are Nigeria’s only representative on the continental stage.

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