Nigerian club Rivers United have been dealt a huge blow in their quest to qualify for the group stages of the 2017 Caf Confederation Cup with the news that two of their most trusted stalwarts, Esosa Igbinoba and Markson Ojobo, will miss Saturday’s Caf Confederation Cup clash against Rayon Sports.
The two players took part in the first leg in Port Harcourt which United won 2-0.
They will however miss the second leg against the Rwandan club at the Amahoro Stadium, Kigali for varying reasons.
Esosa aggravated a groin injury last Sunday in Port Harcourt and was duly substituted in the 58th minute with Ghanaian attacker Asamoah Godbless taking his place.
Ojobo misses out as a result of suspension as he was booked for making a wild tackle in his first contribution in the first leg on 77 minutes after replacing Zoumana Doumbia two minutes earlier.
Technical manager of Rivers United FC Stanley Eguma has described the loss of both players as ‘very painful’ while stressing that the selected players will strive to claim a positive result in the absence of the experienced stars.
“Missing players like Esosa and Ojobo is very painful to say the least as we would have benefitted immensely from their wealth of experience,” Eguma told supersport.com.
“Now, we have to put this behind us and focus on the task at hand with the players we have here (in Kigali)
“We know the expectations back home as we are the only Nigerian club still left in inter Caf club competition.
“Failure is not an option because Nigerians will not forgive us if we do,” he said.
Saturday’s game at the Amahoro Stadium will kick off at 2.30pm Nigerian time.