Rivers United coach Stanley Eguma says The Pride of Rivers are ready to do the double over Bloemfontein Celtic ahead of their CAF Confederation Cup second leg first round tie on Saturday in Port Novo, Benin Republic.
Eguma’s men won the first leg in December 2-0 in South Africa, but saw the second leg, earlier scheduled for 6 January in Port Harcourt postponed to 23 January and moved to Port Novo, after Nigerian authorities refused to grant the Celtic delegation a waiver that would allow them bypass domestic Covid-19 quarantine rules.
In an interview with www.busybuddiesng.com before the team departed Port Harcourt for Port Novo by road, Eguma admitted the South Africans, however, have the advantage as the match will be played in a neutral venue.
“We are ready for the game,” he said. “You know this game should have been played earlier before now, though, there was a little bit of setback. I think we have overcome that and we are looking forward to the game in Benin Republic.
“Actually, it was supposed to be our home game in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, but now taking it to Benin Republic is like away from home. I think the advantage is to the opponent.
“But then, we are ready for it wherever we play. And we believe that if we can beat them in South Africa, it is possible we can beat them again in Benin Republic.
“All we need is to put our acts together and work harder. That is it. So, we are ready.”
If Rivers United eliminate Celtic, they will face domestic rivals Enyimba in the playoff rounds next month for a place in the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup.
The Port Harcourt side were involved in a long-drawn battle with the League Management Company last year over the decision to place them 3rd and Enyimba 2nd on the NPFL table using the Points Per Game (PPG) calculation.