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Nigerian Football

Udechukwu’s Heroics Humble Rivers United




Rivers United failed to turn on the style on Thursday, losing 0-2 to Katsina United in a rearranged Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) game decided at the Kardkanda Stadium, Katsina.
Chinedu Udechukwu was the match winner for the hosts as he struck twice, either side of the break in identical fashion to give the new boys a win over the vice-champions of the NPFL.
His first on nine minutes was a header off an Isah Abdulrahman delivery while his second in the 63rd minute was also a header, this time off an Eric Gwammy cross.
United were second best for large parts and deserved to lose. The however had isolated moments of liveliness which ought to have fetched more joy.
The first was just before half time when striker, Godbless Asamoah hit a wild volley well wide from six yards with just the Katsina United goalkeeper, Yinka David to beat.
The second was probably the nadir; Bolaji Sakin firing into Orbit from three yards following good work by Emeka Ogbugh when he had an open goal at his mercy.
Chief Coach of Rivers United, Willy Udube was left to ponder what might have been in his post-match assessment to the media.
“We had good chances but failed to convert any. If we had, especially when the score was just 1-0 in their (Katsina United’s favour), it might have been a completely different game,” he told our official website,
Baldwin Bazuaye, the head coach of Katsina United also took the time to discuss his side’s performance at the Karkanda Stadium.
“I watched carefully how Rivers United play domestically and on the continent and found some tricks to beat them.
“I told my team to put pressure on them because Rivers United does not like pressure being applied on them,” he said.
The win took Katsina United up to 10th on the NPFL standings with 25 points from 19 matches. Rivers United is in 16th place with 21 points from 17 matches.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and the country’s most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022.

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