Maikaba not disappointed with loss to Rivers United

Plateau United head coach Abdu Maikaba says he is not disappointed in spite of his team’s 1-3 loss to Rivers United in a MatchDay 30 game decided at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

Rivers United raced quickly out of their starting block and went ahead in the game with just three minutes on the clock when Godwin Aguda converted a penalty kick after a handball incident inside the box.

The ‘Pride of Rivers’ doubled their advantage in the 33rd minute through their lively forward Malachi Ohawume who rose highest in the box to head home Nelson Okwa Esor’s cross.

Rivers United practically sealed the game off eleven minutes after the break when Ohawume turned provider for Shedrack Oghali who forced his way past Plateau United defender Andrew Ikefe before burying his effort beyond Plateau goalkeeper Adamu Abubakar.

It was Ikefe however who scored Plateau’s consolation when he headed home from close range fifteen minutes from time after the Rivers defence failed to deal with Daniel Itodo’s long throw.

That was all Maikaba’s men could muster from the contest, failing to make amends after dropping points at home to Enyimba on Sunday.

Maikaba told www.npfl.ng after the match that he is not disappointed by their performance given the reality on ground.

“I’m not disappointed actually. I think you can see that a crop of my players are not available for this game and I am satisfied with most of the players that played because most of them are playing for the first time.

“Some are making their debut today and I’m very very happy with their performance,” stressed the former Akwa United coach.

Plateau United were without key players such as right wing back Ibrahim Abubakar “Babawo”, midfielders Isah Ndala and Oche Ochowechi as well as winger Bernard Ovoke for the trip to Port Harcourt. Maikaba explains their absence.

“The players that did not play, that doesn’t mean it affected my team. We got a sudden notice that they will travel out of the country. We have three that will go with the Super Eagles, we have four that are going abroad for greener pastures and they are key members of the team.

“So we have to change the team and replace them with some other players to come for this game.”

Rivers United head coach Stanley Eguma, on his own commended his players for their performance and their ability to bounce back after Sunday’s loss to Nasarawa United.

“It was a good game and a good result. I must commend the players for their efforts, after losing the game against Nasarawa few days ago, we had to work harder and restrategize against Plateau United, a very good side.

“Before we went to Lafia, we had our plans against this match. We took some players to Lafia and kept some with our coaches to work with them behind and worked on the Plateau team.

“We’re glad it paid off and that’s why we did not feel fatigued during the game because we had to make some new inputs in the playing personnel,” said Eguma.

Rivers United will next face Enyimba on Sunday in Aba while Plateau United will entertain Akwa United in Jos.

Match Lineups

Rivers United

30. Theophilus Afelokhai 17. Chigozie Ihunda 15. Bamba Bakary 13. Lookman Binuyo 14. Fabian Nworie 19. Festus Austin 2. Godwin Aguda 25. Malachi Ohawume 9. Shedrack Oghali 11. Morice Chukwu 8. Esor Nelson Okwa

Subs

1. Abiodun Akande 35. Patrick Kingsley
3. Konan Ruffin 16. Oshobe Shuji 33. Temple Emekayi 20. Joseph Onoja 23. Paul Acquah 12. Rafiu Ishaq 29. Samuel Afful

Plateau United

22. Adamu Abubakar 28. Mike Zaruma
3. Daniel Itodo 15 . Buhari Ibrahim
20. Andrew Ikefe 2. Dennis Nya 8. Sunday Anthony 37. John Dangha
1.Charles Henlong 14. Abba Umar 26. Ibrahim Mustapha

Subs

12. Chinedu Anozie 27. Bitrus Wash
38. Usman Aminu 32. Damian Longmiap
40 Klinshak Longbak 5. Wasiu Jimoh
10. Benjamin Turba 19. Gabriel Wassa 9. Daniel Jackson