Rivers United captain, Festus Austine has apologized to Nigerians over the side’s ouster from the 2017 Caf Champions League.

United surrendered a 3-0 first leg lead in the first round tie to crash out on a 4-3 aggregate after suffering a 0-4 reverse to Sudanese club, Al-Merrikh in Omdurman.

The visibly crest-fallen Austine was at a loss to explain the loss as he pondered what might have been.

“The result was a big setback,” Austine told supersport.com.

“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,” he said.

Al-Merrikh have now progressed to the group stage of the Caf Champions League while Rivers United drops to Africa’s second-tier club competition, the Caf Confederation Cup.