By Adeboye Amosu:
Rivers United failed to make their dominance count as they were held to a 0-0 draw by their hosts, AS Real Bamako, in the first leg of their CAF Champions League preliminary round tie in Bamako on Saturday, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
The Pride of Rivers dominated proceedings from the blast of the whistle but never really troubled the hosts' defence.
The Nigerians had the ball in the back of the net two minutes before the half hour mark through Nzube Anaezamba but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside by the centre referee.
The home side struggled to break down the Rivers United's defence marshalled by skipper Austine Festus and goalkeeper Femi Thomas was virtually on holiday in the game.
The pattern of play continued in the second half with Anaezamba and Ivorien striker Guy Kuemian wasting two half chances for the visitors.
River United technical adviser Stanley Eguma introduced Ghanaian striker Godblees Asamoah in place of Lukman Mohammed in the 57th minute but the change failed to yield any positive fruit for his team.
United's Zoumana Doumana received the first booking of the encounter in the 61st minute for a dangerous tackle on a Real Bamako player.
They suffered a setback when defender Alissou Sanou suffered an injury 13 minutes from time and was replaced by Ayobami Asekunowo.
Real Bamako introduced their Nigerian star, Temitope Folarin, in the 79th minute in place of Mohammed Camara but he was unable to help change things in favour of his team.
Substitute Bernard Ovoke came close scoring a late winner for Eguma's men but his effort was blocked an opposing defender.
The return leg will take place at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt next weekend.