Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt on Wednesday beat Fath Union Sport (FUS) Rabat of Morocco 1-0 in a CAF Confederation Cup Group A fixture.
Emeka Atuloma scored the lone goal for Rivers United in the 72nd minute of the game.
Rivers United Coach, Eguma Stanley, told sportswriters at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt that the victory was a hard-earned one.
Eguma thanked God for the win and also commended his players for fighting on till the last minute of the game to secure the maximum points.
He said his players had too much respect for the visiting team and it affected their game.
“Our opponents are an experienced team. So, it was difficult in the first half because my players respected them too much, and it affected our game plan.
“ They corrected it when I spoke with them after the first half, and that is why we played better in the second half,” the coach said.
Eguma said the group was now open for a tight contest since all the teams are on three points from two matches each.
“We need to intensify our efforts now by working hard and be committed to ensuring that we win every game.
“I am still optimistic that we will qualify from the group stage,’’ he said.
The Rivers United coach commended goalkeeper Sunday Rotimi for crucial saves which helped the home side to win, and urged the management of Super Eagles to consider calling him up.
The club’s captain, Festus Austin, also said they lost focus in the first half because of the much respect they had for FUS Rabat.
Austin commended the coach for encouraging them to victory in the second half.
FUS Rabat coach, Waolid Regragui, , said his team was disappointed with the outcome of the game because of the pitch.
Regragui said that his team played a good game in the first half but could not score because the players were not used to a football field with synthetic grass.
He said the pitch was not good for a continental game, even though he congratulated Rivers United for utilising a free-kick opportunity to get victory.
“I am disappointed and my team is disappointed. The pitch is not good enough.
“I am more pained because it appears we can’t win an away game. It’s becoming a usual thing and I don’t really know what is wrong,” the coach said.
Nayef Aguerd, an FUS defensive midfielder, said they had enough opportunities to score but they were denied by Rotimi.
Aguerd said the pitch, weather and long journey they had affected their game.