- Published on Sunday, 02 April 2017 20:34
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By Uchenna Iyoke
Rivers United got no relief from what had so far been a miserable season as Idris Bakare's 26th minute goal was sufficient for Gombe United to claim maximum points in a match day 17 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) decided at the Pantami stadium.
Bakare would later turn the bad guy when he dismissed by the center referee after a second bookable offense two minutes to regulation time.
Gombe United dominated the first half hour with strikes from Bakare and Sani Suleiman hitting the woodwork respectively. The visitors rarely found their footing in the first stanza, but there were efforts by Bolaji Sakin, Nzube Anaezemba and Emeka Ogbugh, that were not of much threat
Lukman Mohammed came on to replace injured Efosa Eguakun 10 minutes to the interval, yet the Pride of Rivers still were unable to make any meaningful impact until the break.
Coach Willy Udube strengthened his squad on return from the break,introducing Godbless Asamoah and Daniel Israel replace Bolaji Sakin and Best Deemua. Sakin had earlier made impacts before his ouster.
The contest became more stiff as both sides displayed skills and launched strikes to the delight of the fans. Sani Suleiman failed to increase their lead, when his powerful low shot gave goal keeper Akande his best save of the evening.
Ogbugh created panic moments for the hosts from a through pass by Anaezemba, but his superb shot on 73 minute forced Onwuga to a spectacular save. Anaezemba was unlucky not to draw his team level few moments later. Then their day went even sour when Rivers United were denied what they thought was an 81st minute goal by substitute Asamoah
Bakare was voted man of the match for his outstanding performance.
Gombe United will now proceed to Bauchi for a northeast derby against Wikki nest Sunday, while Rivers United play host to ABS.
GOMBE UNITED: Joseph Onwuga 22, Alhassan Yusuf 16, Akeem Balogun 18, Maurice Chigozie 20, Isaac Giwa 25, Ibrahim Abdullahi 4, Bilya Yarma 34, Sani Suleiman 6, Idris Bakare 8, Mannir Ubale 5, Sadiq Shuaibu 32
SUBS: Fabiyi Emmanuel 27, Suleiman Usman 14, Sani M. Abbani 11, Samuel Agba 15, Mohammed Isah 33, Sanusi Sani 29, Ola Ogundele 24
MANAGER: Manu Garba
RIVERS UNITED: Akande Abiodun 23, Ifeanyi Nweke 2, Doumbia Zoumana 14, Yusuf Jaiyeola 21, Ayobami Asekunuwo 6, Markson Ojobo 30, Nzube Anaezemba 4, Emeka Ogbugh 26, Bolaji Sakin 11, Efosa Eguakun 10, Best Deemua 34
SUBS: Sunday Rotimi 22, Ali Chinwendu 3, Lukman Mohammed 15, Daniel Israel 16, Asamoah Godbless 17, Alliassou Sanou 24, Christian Weli 27
MANAGER: Willy Udube
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