A goalless draw against Rayon Sports at the Amahoro Stadium in Kigali at the weekend ensured Port Harcourt based Rivers United progressed 2:0 on aggregate to the recently expanded group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup.
The achievement at the weekend means Rivers United remains Nigeria’s only club side on the continent this term and Eguma says his side is fully aware that Nigeria’s hope for continental glory rests with them.
“We want to thank Nigerians who have prayed for us and supported us. Today’s victory is not for Rivers Utd but it is a victory for the country” said an excited Eguma to the club website immediately after the encounter.
“About four teams went into the continent. That Rivers Utd is still on, carrying the banner and the flag for this country is a good thing for us. We thank God for that.”
Rivers United played the better part of the second half with ten men after Ifeanyi Nweke was sent off in the 58th minute.
Eguma admits the sending off made the game more difficult for his wards and went on to commend them for showing good character despite playing a man less.
“It was a difficult and very interesting game. We expected a very tough battle from Rayon Sports and it was 90mins of non stop action.
“I want to commend my players for living up to expectation. They gave a very good account of themselves. They showed good character not to conceded goals. We also made attempts to score goals but our chances were missed.
“I thank God that the game ended goalless its a good thing for the team to qualify for the next stage”.
Following a hostile and intimidating reception the team received on their last continental game away in Soudan, Eguma says the team feared a similar fate in Kigali but however admits that Rayon Sports and Rwandans proved to be friendly hospitable people.
“We were cautious about that as we came to Rwanda. Fortunately enough Rwandans are more hospitable, they are more friendly, they are more accommodating and we had a very fair game.
“I must say that I thank God and I commend them for that high level of maturity”.
Group stage draw takes place on April 26, 2017, at CAF Headquarters in Cairo.
The 16 qualified teams
MC Alger (Algeria)
Recreativo do Libolo (Angola)
TP Mazembe (Congo DR)
CAF Mounana (Gabon)
FUS Rabat (Morocco)
Rivers United (Nigeria)
Platinum Stars (South Africa)
SuperSport United (South Africa)
Al-Hilal Al-Ubayyid (Sudan)
Mbabane Swallows (Swaziland)
Club Africain (Tunisia)
CS Sfaxien (Tunisia)
Zesco United (Zambia)