BY SAMMY WEJINYA.
The path to another relegation to the lower league was well paved for Shooting Stars as Rivers United handed the troubled side a bitter 1-0 defeat in Port Harcourt.
Rivers United went about their business of taming hard-fighting Shooting Stars Sports Club in brisk fashion on Saturday as the Port Harcourt side continue their steady ascent on the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) log.
Odumegu needed less than 120 seconds to make his mark at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt as he fired in a brilliant effort past the 3SC goalkeeper, Charles Tambe but his furious celebrations were rudely abbreviated as the ‘goal’ was chalked off for offside.
The United team and particularly Odumegwu did not let their heads drop and due reward was to arrive 19 minutes later when the attacker bundled home from two yards out.
Shooting Stars, content with adopting the safety first approach before then, had to predictably come out of their shells as the game improved as a spectacle.
Ajani Ibrahim should have levelled matters for the Oluyole Warriors but he saw his powerful drive from 12 yards beaten away impressively by the United goalkeeper, Femi Thomas in the 35th minute.
The second half was never going to match the first in terms of excitement and sheer drama but Bernard Ovoke, a man slowly but surely returning to form, cracked a 25 yard rocket which was flying into the top right hand corner but Tambe did well to divert the effort away for a corner with 19 minutes remaining.
Shooting Stars head coach, Fatai Amoo did not attend the post-match press conference but his assistant, Edith Agoye who did in his stead praised their conquerors for their success.
“It was a very good game and both teams gave their all. Any side could have won it as we both had chances.
“It was an open game and the chances were few but congratulations to Rivers United,” he said.
Shooting Stars threatened fleetingly but without any real conviction as the hosts saw out the game comfortably.
Eguma also addressed the media in the post-match press conference attended by www.riversunitedfc.com.ng.
“It was a keenly contested game. The two teams were very strong and 3SC gave us a keenly-contested game.
“I did not expect an easy game. We had a very good first half but the second half was not quite as good.
“The most important thing was to get the three points but we have to improve in the area of scoring goals,” he said.
Rivers United have now moved up to 13th on the NPFL standings with 33 points from 25 matches while Shooting Stars is in 18th place with 29 points from 26 matches.