National pride and half-a-million reasons to spur Rangers FC and Rivers United in Champions League clashes

National pride, and perhaps some financial concerns, will be uppermost in the minds of Nigeria’s representatives in the champions league as they head into the crunch second leg of their ties.

The first leg was a mixed bag but mostly favourable; Rangers held Algerians JS Saoura to a one-all draw and will now welcome them to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium on Sunday hoping to complete the business.

For Rivers United the task is a bit more complex, given that there were no goals in the first leg they must outscore their visitors Real Bamako (Mali) to progress. For a goal shy team their main hope will probably lie in keeping Real out for as long as possible.

If both teams successfully navigate these waters they will then have just one more fixture between them and the group stage. The prize for getting there is a cool $550k, well worth the trouble especially considering the travel bills already racked up.

Elsewhere in the Confederations Cup, Wikki Tourists will be in a battle that might colour their entire season when they welcome Sierra Leone armed forces side RSLAF to Bauchi.

The Tourists will carry a two goal deficit into the tie and they will already be ruing their lack of an away goal.

FC IfeanyiUbah have already arrived the appointed city in Egypt where they’ll take on Al Masry. The Egyptians had a bit of fun with the team, they match had been billed for Port Said but will now be played in Ismailly after some last-minute change came through with the team already in transit.

The Nnewi Warriors will have to be wary, that’s surely not the last trick up the North Africans’ sleeves as they try to turn around a one nil loss in the first leg.

Right now three have a legitimate shout at progressing, Wikki require a footballing miracle, good luck to them all and may the best (read Nigerian) team win.

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