Rivers United edge past Kano Pillars in gritty fixture

By Promise Etim

Rivers United put up an extraordinary performance to see off the challenge of Kano Pillars in a Matchday 3 fixture of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) played at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt, Sunday. The Port Harcourt club won 2-1.

After a two-nil defeat in the hands of champions, Plateau United, in midweek, Stanley Eguma’s men were made to work their socks off by Kano Pillars.

Despite going in front through one of their new-signings Bamba Bakari on 19 minutes, Rivers United were marched in every battle for the ball by the Kano club.

Former Bayelsa United and Enyimba man Markson Ojobo did a great job to pick out Bakari with his pin-point cross which the striker swept in past David Obiazo in goal for the visiting team.

Pillars did bid their time to strike. And they did not wait for long before Junior Lokosa scored in the 31st minute. It was his third goal in three appearances this season. It served up a perfect response as Lokosa capitalized on Gabriel Olalekan’s poor clearance to volley the ball beyond the reach of Rotimi Sunday.

However Rivers United would have the last laugh. Ivorian striker Guy Keumian popped at the other end just 11 minutes into the restart to score what turned out to be the winning goal of the tight contest.

Keumian got himself goalside of the Kano Pillars defence before easily smashing in Ochowechi Salefu’s cross past Obiazo.

Rivers United should have increased the tally, eight minutes from time, but not for Obiozor, whose finger spilled Salefu’s volley across the woodwork. The visitors were pecked back for most of the second half, with United dominating.

LINE-UPS

Rivers United: Rotimi; Ojobo, Ali, Afolabi, Olalekan, Festus, Aggreh, Keuemian, Sochima, Salefu, Bakari

Kano Pillars: Obiazo; Djondang, Usman, Anyanwu, Udoji, Kamal, Garba, Jamil, Anaezemba, Nwagua, Lokosa

Man of the match: Oche Salefu (Rivers)

STATS
Rivers United 2-1 Kano Pillars
Shots: 11-3
On target: 6-2
Fouls won: 21-16
Corners: 4-0
Throw-ins: 24-21
Yellow: 0-1
Red: 0-0
Offsides: 0-2
Saves: 0-4

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