Dogged Kwara United pull off stunning draw at Rivers United

Rivers United for the first time this season in the NPFL dropped points at their home ground, the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Kwara United on Wednesday.

The Pride of Rivers made four changes to the team that started against Enyimba in a game they lost 2-0 in Aba on Sunday and despite dominating most part of the encounter, Stanley Eguma’s men were unable to breach the defence of the Harmony Boys ably marshalled by Andrew Ikefe and skipper Binuyo Lookman.

Rivers United began the tie with more urgency but failed to make any headway from the half chances they created. They had an opportunity to score the opening goal in the seventh minute when Waheed Adebayo found himself in a good position in the vital area of the Harmony Boys.

The striker dribbled Kwara United skipper, Lookman while in the box and when he was about to shoot the ball struck the hand of a Kwara United defender but the referee waved play to continue ruling it was not intention and the arm was in a natural position.

There were plethora of misses in the 12th, 14th and 18th minutes by the hosts with Wasiu Jimoh, Ossy Martins and Kehinde Adedipe major culprits but Kwara United turned the game to their advantage and could have scored in the 38th minute when David Ogar had a chance to shoot in Rivers United’s vital area but he flashed it wide when a good pass to either Ebenezer Odeyemi or Shamsudeen Hashimu appeared to be the better option.

The visitors were not yet done as they had another opportunity to hurt their hosts who were too anxious to score six minutes later. They caught Rivers United in possession while on another goal hunt and they turned it to a good counter-attack through Peter Momoh but his final delivery to Uche Onwuasoanya could not make the desired effect after Peter Ubakanma’s last ditch clearance.

Rivers United tried more through Martins in the second half in the 48th and 52nd minutes but were repelled by Kwara United’s determined defenders.

Kwara United thought they would be awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute after a case of handball in the Pride of Rivers defence but the referee felt otherwise.

Rivers United’s desperation was compounded by Nelson Esor in the 82nd minute when the midfielder was yellow carded for simulation in the Kwara United’s vital area. The midfielder had beaten his marker and when it was normal for him to shoot, he elected to fall down after just a minimal contact and he was cautioned.

It was back and forth after then as Kwara United were delighted with a share of the spoils against Rivers United whose 100 percent run at home comes to an end.

TEAMS/MATCH DETAILS

Rivers United: Drissa Bamba; Ubakanma Peter, Konan Ruffin, Ogar David, Gbadebo Samson Tempre Emekayi, Weli Christian (Nelson Esor), Wasiu Jimoh, Ossy Martins (Bright Onyedikachi 76′), Kehinde Adedipe, Waheed Adebayo (Ugochukwu Leonard)

UNUSED SUBS: Akande Abiodun; Bright, Nafiu Kabuga, Chigozie Ihunda, Uchenna Martins

YELLOW CARDS: Ossy Martins 24′, Ruffin Konan 61′, Nelson Esor 82′

Kwara United: Yusuf Mohammed; Lookman Binuyo, Uwana Asuquo, Afeez Nosir, Akinmoladun Sunday, Ikefe Andrew, Peter Momoh (Issa Magaji 50′), Uche Onwuasoanya (Sunday Emmanuel 78′), Samsudeen Hashim, Segun Alebiosu, Ebenezer Odeyemi(Daberechi Anyanwu 50′)

UNUSED SUBS: Abdullateef Ishola, Mohammed Hussein Tijani Adamu, Usman Mohammed

YELLOW CARDS: Sunday Akinmoladun 86′

MATCH STATISTICS
Rivers United 0-0 Kwara United
Corner kick: 10-3
Shots on Target: 11-2
Shots off Target: 17-6
Throw in: 32-28
Yellow Cards: 3-1
Offside: 4-2
Fouls: 14-9

Man of the Match: Andrew Ikefe (Kwara United)