By Victor Kanayo
Three among four Nigerian representatives have succeeded in qualifying for the next phase of both CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup after preliminary stage hostilities were concluded on Sunday September 18, 2022.
Rivers, Plateau and Kwara United all secured passage, while Remo stars, a privately owned club failed to overcome their opponent.
Nigerian champions Rivers United fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Watanga of Liberia at the return leg but eventually won 3-1 on aggregate.
Rivers United journeyed to fellow West African nation, to take on Liberian league champions but were unsuccessful in their quest to get a consecutive victory.
The Nigerian champions who won 3-0 in the first leg at home, conceded as early as the 14th minute, with Farsedu Logan scoring from the penalty spot for the home side.
The rest of the proceeding at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville saw neither side, muster anything from their chances, Rivers United, benefitting the most from the 1-0 scoreline.
The Port Harcourt club will now face defending champions Wydad Casablanca in the second qualifying round, with the winner of the tie, progressing to the group stage.
Plateau United on their part, defeated visiting AS Stade Mandji 1-0 to secure a 3-2 result on aggregate, after an important draw from their first leg in Gabon.
The North-central based club will face an uphill task in their next round as they will confront Esperance Fc of Tunisia
Elsewhere, Remo Stars crashed out of the CAF Confederation Cup after losing 1-0 at home to the nemesis of Nigerian clubs, Morocco’s Association’s Sports of Forces Armed Royal (AS FAR).
They crashed out 2-1 on aggregate after having an initial soul-lifting 1-1 draw last Sunday in Rabat, Morocco.
Remo Stars become the fifth Nigerian club to ever crash out to the ‘military’ tactics of the Royal Moroccan Army football club.
In the other matches, goalkeeper Adewale Adeyinka was the star of the day as Kwara United held AS Douanes goalless in their second leg encounter at the Stade Gen. Senyi Kountche Sunday evening.
The Harmony Boys qualified on 3-0 aggregate and will now meet reigning Confederation Cup champions Berkane FC.
AS Douanes created a number of good chances but Adewale on several occasions denied them the opportunity to make hay till the match came to a close.