In a thrilling encounter at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Thursday, Rivers United defeated DC Motema Pembe 3-1 in a CAF Confederation Cup match.
Rivers United’s Ghanaian striker, Paul Acquah, was the hero; scoring all three goals for the reigning Nigeria League champions.
The Nigerian side dominated from the start of the game but didn’t find a way past their Congolese opponent until late in the first half, when Acquah scored the first of his three goals after receiving a good pass from Ukeme Williams.
Buoyed by their lead from the first half, Stanley Eguma’s started the second half like a house on fire and it didn’t take long before Acquah doubled their lead in the 55th minute, this time benefiting off an assist from his compatriot, Emmanuel Ampiah.
While many were already tipping Rivers United to drown their opponents in Uyo, Mydo Yallet pulled one back for the visitors in the 78th minute to make it 2-1.
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Coach Eguma responded to the development with some tactical changes; bringing in the duo of Mohammed Shiraz and Augustine Agu to replace Malachi Ohawume and Ukeme Williams in the 85th minute.
While Rivers United appeared home and dry with a 2-1 win, Acquah produced another moment of brilliance to complete his hat trick in the third minute of stoppage time.
With the three victories on the bounce, Rivers United are top in Group B with nine points from the four games played so far.
ASEC Mimosas are second on the log with seven points while Diables Noir and Motema Pembe and third and fourth respectively with four and two points after also playing four matches.
While they are looking good to make it out of the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup, Thursday’s victory will also give the Pride of Rivers a boost ahead of their upcoming domestic fixtures, as they look to successfully defend their Nigerian Professional Football League title.
With a talented squad hungry for success and a strong team spirit, Rivers United will be a team to watch in the coming months as they continue to chase success both at home and abroad.
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CAF Confederation Cup: Paul Acquah nets hat-trick as Rivers United beat Motema Pembe
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