On Sunday at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side, Rivers United will play their first ever continental football match at home when they welcome AS Real Bamako of Mali in the second leg of the first preliminary stage of the 2017 CAF Champions League.

The Pride of Rivers, only formed late 2015 as a merger of Sharks FC and Dolphins FC which were the two Port Harcourt-based state owned clubs, finished as last season’s league runners up same as their Malian opponents.

Both teams fought hard for a goal in the first leg played in Bamako, Mali, but found all efforts denied entry into their respective goals, making this tie a winner takes all encounter.

Coaches of both clubs have expressed optimism in the build up to this game as they look to employ their tactical finesse in order to glean favourable results. Rivers United have urged fans to turn out in their numbers to replicate the Bamako atmosphere to the favour of the home side.

Winners, over the two legs, will face either Al-Merikkh of Sudan or Sony Ela Nguema of Equatorial Guinea.

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