Head Coach of Rivers United, Stanley Eguma is disappointed with his team’s first leg defeat to Futuro Kings of Equatorial Guinea in the CAF Confederation Cup match on Saturday.
The Pride of Rivers suffered a shocking 2 – 1 defeat in the hand of their hosts at the Estadio De Mongomo Stadium on Saturday evening.
In his post-match interview made exclusively available to brila.net by the media department of the club, Coach Eguma said the results wasn’t the reflection of their preparations, but he went on to narrate the factors that worked against his team on the pitch.
Eguma said: “Actually the result was an unfortunate one, we prepared very well for this game with the little time frame at our disposal, we trained and participated in some tournaments and we have high hopes after weeks of excellent work.” He told brila.net.
“But, the result of the game isn’t a reflection of our work and there are some other issues that affected us, the players tried their best but an avalanche of goals that we missed later affected the team psychologically.”
“Within 15 – 20 minutes, we should have scored at least two goals, in fact before the end of the first half, we should have been three or four goals up, but the attackers were so wasteful in front of goal and you can’t afford to waste chances in the match of this magnitudes.” He continued.
Apart from missing chances, the experienced coach also disposed of that injury to his first choice goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai and his replacement Ospino Egbe made the team vulnerable.
“Again, injury to my goalkeepers affected the team. Afelokhai was injured on the eve of our journey and the only goalkeeper available was Ospino Egbe who also sustained an injury towards the end of the first half.
“He collided with an attacker and had a deep cut on his face that left him dizzy. He later opted out of the second half and we were without a goalkeeper.”
“The doctor treated him and we pleaded with him to continue the second half which he did, but almost immediately he conceded the two goals,” he said.
Eguma is however optimistic that his team can turn the tie around when they host Futuro Kings for the second leg in Port Harcourt.
“Generally, we should have come out with a win, but that’s football. I believe we can beat them here (Port Harcourt) , if we get our strategy right. They are beatable.” He concluded.
Rivers United will have the opportunity to turn the tie around when they the Equatorial Guinea side for the second leg next weekend the second leg.
The match is scheduled for Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt and the winner of the encounter will qualify for the second preliminary stage of the CAF second elite competition.