Algeria/Nigeria: Rivers United Edge USM Alger in Confederation Cup First-Leg

Rivers United secured a crucial 1-0 victory over USM Alger of Algeria in the first leg of their CAF Confederation Cup quarter-final clash played yesterday at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Augustine Okejepha emerged as the hero for the home side, breaking the deadlock in the 10th minute with a clinical strike from the edge of the box.

Abubakar Adamu's well-executed assist from a corner kick set the stage for Okejepha's decisive goal, putting the home side in the lead early in the match.

Despite USM Alger's efforts to contain Rivers United, the Nigerian team's physical dominance proved to be a significant factor throughout the game.

USM Alger struggled to match the intensity of their opponents who looked eager to score more goals.

However, the arrival of rain after 70 minutes provided a brief respite for the Algerian side, allowing them to regroup and minimize the damage to a single-goal deficit by the final whistle.

Looking ahead to the second leg in Algiers on April 7, USM Alger face an uphill battle as they seek to overturn the deficit and secure passage to the semi-finals.

With home advantage on their side, USM Alger will be determined to mount a strong comeback and keep their hopes alive in the competition but judging by the performance of Rivers United, they will also put up a strong challenge in Algiers next week.

The stakes are high for USM Alger, with qualification to the next round offering an opportunity to continue their title defence and pursue continental glory.

In the event of qualification, the overall winner of this tie will face the winner of the double confrontation between Abu Salim and RS Berkane in the semi-final.

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