The two Nigeria Professional Football League teams taking part in the CAF Champions League this season have started their campaign on a winning note.
Akwa United and Rivers United recorded 1-0 victories over Algerian club CR Belouizdad and Tanzania team Young Africans respectively on Sunday in their first leg preliminary round ties.
At the Nest of Champions in Uyo, Akwa United had three of their new players in the starting eleven as they targeted a healthy lead from the first leg.
Midfielder Godspower Tower, defender James Ajako and striker Wasiu Alalade were all handed starting roles by Coach Kennedy Boboye.
At the end, it was Ubong Friday’s 88th minute solo goal that saw the Promise Keepers record their first ever win in the CAF Champions League.
Elsewhere in far away Tanzania, Rivers United got a massive result at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium, Dar es Salaam, despite the antics of their opponents.
Three players and two officials of the Garden City team were said to have tested positive to COVID-19 just two hours to the game.
After surviving the onslaught from the Young Boys, Moses Omodumuke scored what proved to be the winning goal for the Port Harcourt-based side in the 52nd minute.
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Sunday’s away victory put Rivers United in pole position to qualify for the next round.
The return leg of the game will take place on September 19, 2021, in Port Harcourt.
A favourable result for the Stanley Eguma-tutored side will qualify the team for the second preliminary round.
Akwa United also have a tricky second leg tie ahead of them in Algeria.
Apart from Enyimba, no Nigerian team has ever lifted the prestigious CAF Champions League trophy.