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CAF Confederation Cup: USM Alger Coach Garrido blames loss to Rivers United on ramadan fasting

Posted : 01 April 2024

The Chief Coach of USM Alger, Juan Carlos Garrido, has expressed displeasure that the ongoing Ramadan fasting cost his side their defeat to Rivers United.

Rivers United edged past defending champions USM Alger of Algeria 1-0 in a CAF Confederation Cup quarterfinal first-leg clash at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo on Sunday.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) had announced a change in time for the game from the initial 5 pm to 2 pm, a decision that did not go down well with the Algerian side.

Garrido says the timing of the game affected his team’s performance.

“As we expected, it was a very difficult match because of the quality of our opponent (Rivers United), who we respect a lot.

"We also played this game in Ramadan without eating or drinking, which wasn’t a good condition for my team.

“To play at 2 pm in this weather condition is not ideal. I know the home team has the right to choose when to play, but in my opinion, in this situation, the organizers (CAF) have to respect our position. I’ve to congratulate my players for playing in such a condition.”

Garrido, however, expects his team to overturn the 1-0 deficit, in a much better condition, when they welcome Rivers United in Algeria.

“Rivers United was better than us. But anyway, no excuses, congratulations to them for winning. I believe we’ll be in a much better condition when we play the return leg in Algeria. At our stadium, we’re going to play to win."

The return leg is slated for the Stade du Juliet in Algiers next week Sunday.


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