By James Agberebi:
Rivers United coach Stanley Eguma has warned his players that their round of 32 CAF Champions League tie against Al-Merrikh of Sudan is far from over, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
In the first leg played in Port Harcourt on Sunday, Rivers United defeated Al-Merrikh 3-0 thanks to goals from Ivorian player Guy Kuemian (brace) and Esosa Igbinosa.
Despite the healthy first leg advantage, Eguma has stated that they are not getting carried away.
"We are not losing sight of the second leg," Eguma told Completesportsnigeria.com.
"We still have 90 minutes to play. The game is not over yet and I have informed my players that it is not yet time for celebration."
Eguma admitted that Rivers United were driven to put in more effort by Al-Merreikh's history.
"I dedicate the win to hardwork and determination on the part of the players and the management who have done their best to motivate the players. The players on their part have responded well by coming out with the win," he added.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game and that El-Merreikh has pedigree in Africa and because of that we had to work extra hard. We went above our capacity to ensure that we did not let Nigerians down and to God be the glory the players lived up to expectations.
"Despite the defeat, El-Merreikh showed that they are a very strong side who were able to withstand some of the fire works from my team."
And on how his team managed to neutralise Nigerian trio Kelechi Osunwa, Kunle Odunlami and Dayo Ojo, Eguma said: "Before the game, there was that inspiration that with the Nigerians in their team, they would give us problems.
"But I was telling people that fine Osunwa, Odunlami and Ojo know us, also we know them. So if they think having three Nigerians is a plus to them, it is also a plus for us. Osunwa couldn't play because we know how to handle him, he was my former player in Dolphins, I brought him up and I know what to expect from him."
The second leg between Rivers United and Al-Merreikh will be played at the Al-Merrikh Stadium, Omdurman next week.
The winner of the tie will qualify for the group stage of the competition.