A devastating second half display, full of energy and cutting edge, proved to be the catalyst for a stunning 4-0 for Rivers United over AS Real Bamako in the Caf Champions League on Sunday.
The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) outfit had held the Malian club to a scoreless draw in the first leg of the preliminary round clash in Bamako a week earlier and knew an outright win in Port Harcourt would guarantee them a place in the next round of the competition.
Bernard Ovoke set them on their way to a resounding win with a well-struck penalty on the half hour after a Malian defender handled in the box.
Esosa Igbinoba doubled the hosts’ advantage at a frenzied Yakubu Gowon Stadium on 56 minutes while Ovoke completed his brace to put United 3-0 up in the 69th minute with another well-struck penalty.
Igbinoba scored his second goal of the day late on to complete a comprehensive victory for the ‘Pride of Rivers’ which handed them a ticket to the first round of the competition.
Technical manager of Port Harcourt club, Stanley Eguma said he tweaked his tactics at the break to get the goods.
“They surprised us by changing their tactics from the first leg.
“It was a bit difficult for us in the first half but we had to change our plans for the second half.
“It paid off as we were able to score four goals,” he told www.riversunitedfc.com.ng.
United will now meet Sudanese club, Al Merreikh in the next round of the competition over two legs with the winner progressing to the group stages.