Good morning esteemed colleagues.
Below are quotes of three footballers on the books of Al-Merrikh (Sudan) and Rivers United FC (Nigeria).
The affected footballers, Kelechi Osunwa, Dayo Ojo (Al-Merrikh) and Festus Austine (Rivers United) all spoke to the media team of Rivers United FC shortly after Saturday’s second leg, first round CAF Champions League game played at the Al-Merrikh Stadium Omdurman.
Al-Merrikh won the match 4-0.
If used, quotes MUST be credited to the official Rivers United website, www.riversunitedfc.com.ng.
Also attached are sound files of the three affected footballers plus a fourth, Emeka Ogbugh of Rivers United FC.
Kelechi Osunwa (Al-Merrikh, Sudan)
“Next time, they (Rivers United) should try not to relax when they have a 3-0 first leg advantage.
“They must also work hard in the second leg. Those were the major lapses I noticed in the Rivers United side and they fell (in Omdurman).
“This is football where you cannot predict what can happen in 90 minutes.
“The coach was so upset about the first game in Port Harcourt.
“(But) he also knew that we (the players) were really tired before the game.
“We (simultaneously) play in the Arab Champions League, the Caf Champions League plus the domestic league and Cup.
“We were so tired during that first leg in Port Harcourt and that fatigue was the reason why we lost the game.
“We were so prepared for the (second) game against Rivers United knowing that in the past (2007), we had also beaten (another Nigerian club), Dolphins 6-1.
“We were hopeful that we could qualify in our home”.
Dayo Ojo (Al-Merrikh, Sudan)
“We believed we could do it because we spoke to ourselves and decided that if Rivers United could score three goals (in Port Harcourt), we could (also) score four goals at home.
“I thank God that we did it. The pressure was on us in Port Harcourt but it was the opposite in Omdurman.
“We destabilized their game plan.
“Nigerian football fans must learn from Al-Merrikh in the area of supporting their teams.
“The support we got from our fans against Rivers United (in Omdurman) was very very good and that is how we see it every day in domestic and continental matches.
“The fans must continue to support the teams whether they are doing well or not”.
Festus Austine (Rivers United FC, Nigeria)
“The result was a big setback,”
“I never expected us to lose 0-4 to Al-Merrikh but then this is football.
“We tried to win or at least get a result that would see us progress but it was not to be.
“I am not happy about the result but we cannot change it now and we just have to focus on the next game.
“We owe Nigerians an apology because they expected much from us.
“We have to go back to the drawing board and learn from our mistakes,”