Nigerian side out to exploit Celtic’s vulnerabilities

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Nigeria side Rivers United coach Stanley Eguma recently noted that his CAF Confederation Cup first round opponents Bloemfontein Celtic are a “good team” but “vulnerable”. They play Celtic at the Dr. Petrus Molemela Stadium on Wednesday evening and Eguma has warned that his charges will exploit Siwelele’s weaknesses. Kick off time is 18h00.

The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) club’s technical team and squad watched Celtic play Orlando Pirates in the televised MTN8 Cup final. The Free State club lost 2-1 after taking the lead in the opening minutes of the final played in Durban a fortnight ago.

“Against South Africa’s Bloemfontein Celtic, we are expecting a tougher game. We’re aware it is a team that is well known on the continent and they have been doing well. But we do not have enough information about the team’s recent form, and it is difficult to really assess them,” Eguma said.

He added that Rivers United see the clash as a big task and “know too well that in this competition the higher you go, the tougher the competition becomes”. Eguma’s charges jetted into Johannesburg on Sunday morning oozing confidence albeit after challenges securing their visas in time.

The Port Harcourt outfit, based in the capital and largest city of Rivers State in Nigeria, were initially scheduled to travel on Friday, but failed to get visas in time, leaving the match hanging in the balance. Both Rivers and Celtic needed penalties to see off their opponents in the previous round with United defeating Futuro Kings while Celtic triumphed over Maniema Union.

Interestingly, Celtic’s opponents have been inactive with the NPFL yet to kick off. On the other hand, Celtic have played in both the MTN8 and DStv Premiership. The second leg tie in Port Harcourt is set for 6 January with the aggregate winners advancing to the playoff round of the competition.

No Nigerian team has won the CAF Confederation Cup since its inception in 2004, with Rivers United (then Dolphins) reaching the final in 2005, where they lost to FAR Rabat of Morocco 3-1 on aggregate.

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By Mthokozisi Dube

 

 

 

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