Confed Cup: Kwara survive ‘fresh blood’ scare to progress

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• Rivers, Plateau, Kwara advance, Remo out

Despite a dreadful treatment of players and officials of Nigeria Professional Football League side, Kwara United, by herbalists of home side AS Douanes of Niger in Niamey on Sunday, the Nigerians progressed to the next round of the CAF Confederation Cup on a 3-0 aggregate.

The Afonja Warriors, who held a healthy 3-0 advantage from the first leg ahead of the second leg in the preliminary rounds, forced the hosts to a goalless draw to ensure their qualification to the next round of the competition.

The Ilorin-based club, however, had more than a physical battle to contend with in Niamey.

Just moments before the kick-off, as players of the NPFL side alighted from their bus at the match venue, they were stunned as they saw fresh blood sprinkled on their path to the stadium.

In the video, two men – one holding a goat – suspected to be spiritualists, ran towards the Kwara United bus in an attempt to intimidate the visitors, but one of the team’s officials called the bluff of both men, with no police or security personnel around to protect the players.

In spite of the awful act, Kwara United held on to keep a clean sheet to progress to the second qualifying round of the competition, where they will now face Morocco’s Berkane next month.

Meanwhile, Remo Stars failed to build on their impressive first leg performance as they lost 1-0 at home to AS FAR to crash out of the Confederation Cup.

Remo drew 1-1 in Morocco last week, but they faltered at home, when it mattered most, allowing the Moroccans to advance on 2-1 aggregate.

It was, however, good news for Nigerian sides in the CAF Champions League, as NPFL champions Rivers United and Plateau United advanced to the next round of the competition.

At the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, Rivers United fell 1-0 loss to Liberia’s Watanga FC but the Port Harcourt-based club progressed to the next round of the continent’s premier club football competition on 3-1 aggregate, having defeated the same side 3-0 in Nigeria last week.

Rivers United will next face champions Wydad Casablanca for a spot in the group stage.

Plateau United, on their part, edged a 1-0 win over AS Mandji in the second leg of their qualifier at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja to advance 3-2 on aggregate.

Haggai Katoh headed home the winner in the 63rd minute of the encounter.

Plateau held the first leg advantage, having forced a 2-2 draw in Gabon last weekend.


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