We outfoxed Rivers United, says Club Africain’s coach

Club Africain players celebrate after scoring against Rivers United in their CAF Confederations Cup match in Port Harcourt on Sunday

Club Africain head coach Chiheb Ellili has revealed that he learned from his side’s previous failings to mastermind a 2-0 success over Rivers United in the CAF Confederation Cup on Sunday.

The Tunisians overcame their Nigerian foes 3-1 in the reverse fixture at the Stade Olympique de Rades on 14 May but on that occasion, Club Africain were distinctly second best in the second half.

Ellili said he took note of his side’s frailties in that game and that it proved decisive in Sunday’s victory at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium. “The reason Rivers United played better than us in the second half in Tunis is because they took over the midfield,” Ellili told supersport.com.

“I knew I had to do something different this time round so I had to deploy an extra man so we played with four, rather than three midfielders. “It was important that we controlled the midfield and that was why we were able to win the game in the end,” he said.

Club Africain will next take on KCCA in Tunis on 7 July in their final group game and a draw will be enough to see Ellili’s men reach the knockout stages of the competition. A stalemate in Tunis will also mean that KCCA will progress to the quarterfinals but Ellili says his charges will not be taking their foot off the gas on Friday.

“It will be stupid to try to play for a draw and we will not do it. “We will try to go for the win because that is the only way to achieve our objectives because so far, no side from the group has qualified for the quarterfinals.

“When we played against Rivers United (on Sunday), we played to win and that is why we achieved the victory,” he said.

Club Africain and KCCA have both amassed nine points from five matches while Rivers United and FUS Rabat have claimed six points from the same number of matches.

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