- Published on Thursday, 06 April 2017 19:22
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By Fisayo Dairo
Christian Weli and Godbless Asamoah scored in each half as Rivers United claimed a 2-0 win over ABS in a rescheduled Matchday 9 encounter played at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
Weli slid home to give United the lead on 38 minutes and exited the pitch one minute later due to a head injury he sustained early in the game. His replacement Godbless Asamoah made sure of the points for the hosts eight minutes from time as United secure a first league victory after five attempts.
United boss Stanley Eguma was among the first set of officials to arrive at the stadium on his return to the team after serving an in-house one-game suspension which he served in their away loss at Gombe United on Sunday.
Chances were few and far between in the first half of Thursday's encounter and United would count themselves lucky for taking a 1-0 lead into the break.
Winger Adesina Gata should have scored with the game's best chance on 34 minutes but his ferocious effort from close range after he wrong-footed United's Togolese defender Joseph Douhadji came off the cross bar.
Four minutes later, the hosts went ahead. Ivorian star Guy Keumian robbed ABS centre back Ibrahim Omolayo of the ball and squared for midfielder Weli who despite a heavy first touch managed to slide home beyond Suleiman Dogo into the bottom corner.
It turned out to be Weli's last moment of the game and he left to an ovation almost soon after as Ghanaian striker Godbless Asamoah had been readied to take his place even before he scored due to the head injury he sustained in the opening quarter hour if the game.
The visitors became more purposeful in the second half and were presented with decent chances in the first five minutes but Adesina Gata and Wasiu Alalade failed to get enough power on their efforts to trouble Rivers goalkeeper Abiodun Akande.
Akande was called to action on the hour mark when Eugene Ossy headed an Ibrahim Ahmed cross goalwards but the former Shooting Stars goalkeeper tracked back quickly to turn it away. The visitors continued to pour forward in torrents but time and time again were let down by the exuberance of their attackers.
United provided the final act on 82 minutes when substitute Godbless Asamoah tapped home Ifeanyi Nweke's square pass after a marauding run by the full back.
Victory took United to 17th on the log on superior goals difference as they have same number of points as Wikki Tourists and Sunshine Stars while ABS stay at 13th.
Rivers United: 23. Abiodun Akande 2. Ifeanyi Nweke 14. Zoumana Doumbia 21. Yusuf Jayeola 5. Joseph Douhadji 6. Ayobami Asekunowo 7. Bernard Ovoke 27. Christian Weli 9. Guy Keumian 4. Nzube Anaezemba 26. Emeka Ogbugh
Subs: 1. Femi Thomas 18. Gabriel Wassa 30. Markson Ojobo 20. Frederick Obomate15. Lukman Mohammed 16. Israel Daniel 17. Godbless Asamoah
BOOKED: Godbless Asamoah 58'
GOALS: Christian Weli 38' Godbless Asamoah 82'
ABS: 31. Suleiman Dogo 6. Ibrahim Ahmed 11. Chukwuebuka Anaekwe 14. Samuel Oyedeji 25. Ibrahim Omolayo 5. Ernest Governor 13. Adeshina Gata 28. Stone Evbuomwan (Mohammed Mohammed 80') 9. Eugene Ossy 19. Wasiu Alalade (Chigozirim Metu 56') 18. Abubakar Chindo (Arinze Oyota 77')
Unused Subs: 1. Yinka Adewale 4. Emmanuel Ugbo 26. Ebuka Franklin 20. Bassey Effiom
BOOKED: Ibrahim Ahmed 51' Arinze Oyota 88'
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