BY Idris Shehu
Rivers United defeated Democratic Republic of Congo’s Motema Pembe FC 3-1 to go top of Group B in the 2022/23 CAF Confederation Cup.
Paul Acquah hit a spectacular hattrick for the Pride of Rivers in the scintillating match at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo on Thursday.
United produced a dominating performance against the Congolese but did not get past the visitors’ defence until the stroke of halftime.
Ukeme Williams floated a freekick into the area and Acquah picked his spot underneath the cross to head home and open his account for the night.
In the second half, Stanley Eguma’s boys held firm to their team’s overwhelming approach to the tie and it paid off again just 10 minutes later.
Acquah’s position was perfect for Emmanuel Ampiah’s cross, which he expertly guided into the net with a left-footed jab.
A slight loss of concentration by the NPFL team gave Motema Pembe the opportunity to half the deficit with Mydo Nakouho Yallet stabbing home a rebound after his initial header had ricocheted off the bar.
Acquah then completed his hattrick and restored the two-goal cushion deep into stoppage time with a curling finish to a counterattack.
With three consecutive victories, Rivers United are top of Group B with nine points from the four games played.
After losing the first game 3-0 to Diable Noirs of Congo Brazzaville, United reversed the result in a win over ASEC Mimosa of Ivory Coast before defeating Motema Pembe FC 1-0 away in DR Congo.
They will host Diable Noirs at home on Sunday at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.