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Nigeria-Ghana Rivalry Reignited As Rivers United Face Dreams In Confederation Cup Group

 

The intense football rivalry between Nigeria and Ghana will continue in the CAF Confederation Cup this season after Rivers United and Dreams were drawn together in Group C on Friday.

Former African champions Club Africain of Tunisia and newcomers Academica Lobito of Angola complete the mini-league after a draw made in a Johannesburg TV studio.

The first matches are scheduled for November 26 with the sixth and final round being staged on March 3. Group winners and runners-up qualify for the quarter-finals.

Rivers left it late to eliminate Etoile Filante of Burkina Faso in the final qualifying round with Alex Oyowah breaking the deadlock in the 89th minute of the return match.

Earlier in the second leg in Port Harcourt, the Nigerians missed two penalties and struggled to break down rivals reduced to 10 men by a second-half red card.

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Confederation Cup newcomers Dreams also experienced anxiety before securing a place among the 16 survivors in the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League.

They edged Milo of Guinea and Kallon of Sierra Leone by 3-2 overall margins as they try to emulate compatriots Hearts of Oak, winners of the first final in 2004.

Club Africain were crowned African champions in 1991, but the Tunis outfit have largely underachieved in Africa since.

SuperSport United of South Africa must travel the length of the continent three times after drawing USM Alger of Algeria, Future of Egypt, and Al Hilal Benghazi of Libya in Group A.

USM are the title-holders having edged Young Africans of Tanzania on away goals in the 2023 final after both teams won away.

The other South African challengers, newcomers Sekhukhune United, eliminated vastly experienced African campaigners Saint-Eloi Lupopo from the Democratic Republic of Congo to qualify.

Sekhukhune face two-time title-holders Renaissance Berkane of Morocco, 2009 winners Stade Malien from Mali and regular African competitors Diables Noirs of Congo Brazzaville in Group D.

CAF Confederation Cup Draw

Group A

USM Alger (ALG, holders), Future (EGY), SuperSport Utd (RSA), Al Hilal Benghazi (LBA)

Group B

Zamalek (EGY), Sagrada Esperanca (ANG), Academie SOAR (GUI), Abu Salim (LBA)

Group C

Rivers Utd (NGR), Club Africain (TUN), Dreams (GHA), Academica Lobito (ANG)

Group D

Renaissance Berkane (MAR), Diables Noirs (CGO), Stade Malien (MLI), Sekhukhune Utd (RSA)

Matchdays: Nov 26, Dec 3, 10, 20, Feb 25, Mar 3

Note: Group winners and runners-up qualify for quarter-finals

AFP

Emmanuel Egobiambu

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