NPFL U15: Rivers Utd off to flyer, as Jonah inspires Akwa Utd again

By Fisayo Daro

Rivers United's starlets on Tuesday opened their NPFL Under-15 Promises account with a 3-0 victory over tournament's whipping boys Abia Warriors at the Owerri centre.

Having been drawn bye on the opening day of the competition, the young boys from Port Harcourt produced a disciplined performance to outclass their opponents. Striker Kenneth Clinton scored the game's opener in the 28th minute when he latched on to a deep free kick by his captain Favour Arojameh to finish calmly beyond the goalkeeper.

Clinton got his brace with just seconds into the second half through a close range finish after Warriors goalkeeper, Kingsley Onyebuchi parried his initial effort into his path.

The baby Warriors from Umuahia had a chance to come back into the game but captain Chukwudi Igbokwe saw his penalty saved by Rivers goalkeeper Joseph Bright five minutes into the second half before Rivers sealed the game off on 68 minutes.

Clinton turned provider for his team's third when he squared for Felix Ojuah after beating his marker for pace. The midfielder graciously tapping into an empty net.

After the match, Rivers United U15 coach, Sunny Isohkwema described the result as a good one for him.

"It was a fairly comfortable victory and I'm happy we got the win due to the challenge we had in raising a team," began the former Sharks FC assistant coach.

"When you are coaching young players, you (as a coach) have to help them to play. Sometimes they are anxious and over zealous but overall, it was a good result for us." he added.

In Tuesday's other game, Akwa United maintained top spot in Group A after a hard fought 1-0 win over Enyimba.

Young striker Elisha Jonah scored the only goal of the game ten minutes from time when he headed home Archibong Archibong's free kick. Jonah thus took his goals tally to four in two games as the Baby Elephants from Aba suffer a second straight loss in the tournament.

Enyimba Under-15 captain Samuel Francis has still not given up hopes of his side's qualification from the group Owerri centre.

"I believe we still have a good chance to progress. We just have to defend better and attack well so we can score goals. I believe we can still qualify," said Francise whose idol is former Enyimba captain Chinedu Udoji.

The young centre back also thanked the organizers for the opportunity that the NPFL U15 Promises avails them of.

"I am very happy to be playing in this competition. I must say thank you to the LMC for this future Promises tournament. You can see it is the first time most of us are playing this tournament so we say thank you to them." added the SS1 student of Heritage International School, Osusu-amukwa Aba.