Federation Cup: Rivers United’s Jimoh and Odunlami out of Akwa United tie

Goal speaks to The Pride of Rivers skipper who's quest to qualify for the Round of 16 is more difficult with injuries to two regular players

Rivers United will trade tackles with Akwa United without the services of Wasiu Jimoh and Kunle Odunlami ahead of their Federation Cup Round of 32 fixture on Wednesday in Enugu.

The Pride of Rivers whiplashed Timber-loader 4-0 in the last round of the Cup competition but they have been hit with injuries to two of their regular players in the build-up to the encounter.

Rivers United skipper, Austin Festus said that both players were yet to recover from their recent knocks and so have been overlooked from selection for the blockbuster fixture with the Promise Keepers.

“Our preparations for the game with Akwa United has been going on fine and we are only focused on winning the game because we know it is the only thing we can do to return to the continent,” Festus told Goal.

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“We, however, have two players who are not part of our build-up for this game because they are suffering from knocks that they received in our recent matches. Wasiu (Jimoh) and (Kunle) Odunlami are these players and they have been excused from the encounter.

“We know we are not going to qualify quite easily like that but we are ready to give the game our best shot. We have other players that can take the places of those that are not available. The most important thing is that we must qualify for the next round.”

Both teams have won the Federation Cup on six occasions combined with the four titles won by the Pride of Rivers while they were still named Dolphins. Akwa United lifted the Federation Cup in 2015 and 2017.