BY TUKA LETURA.
Rivers United hope to build on the valuable point they scraped from the challenging duel with one of Nigeria’s football league super powers, the Kano Pillars last weekend as they host Heartland of Owerri this Sunday.
The last time the two sides met in the League, it ended in a routine 2-0 win for United. Emeka Ogbugh and Koffi Roland netted a goal in each half to give United the win in April 2018.
The situation is a whole lot different at the moment as Heartland, based on their post-season re-enforcements, look stronger and are capable of inflicting damage on any side.
Heartland who have added Super Eagles goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa and former Super Eagles Striker Christian Pygbara to their ranks have more experience in the side.
Chijoke Akuneto and Joseph Onoja also joined to beef up the team alongside 16 other new players who look to strengthen the squad.
Heartland, still smarting from the 0-1 reverse suffered in the hands of MFM FC on Match Day One in Okigwe, will be looking to bounce back swiftly by posting a creditable performance and result in Port Harcourt on Sunday.
United are however favourites to claim the win. The Port Harcourt club looks remarkably solid with new arrivals like Fortune Omoniwari, Lookman Binuyo, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Shunji Oshobe, Michael Enaruna, Victor Chidume and Stephen Michael Gopey taking to life at United like a Duck to water.
Mainstays like Festus Austine, Ossy Martins, Malachi Ohawume, Bakary Bamba, Konan N’gouan and Cletus Emotan all did important things on Match Day One and will be looking to go for the kill against the ‘Naze Millionaires’.
United’s influential goalkeeper, Akande Abiodun who has kept clean sheets in his last two league games will be looking to make it three shut outs on the bounce.
Technical manager of the Port Harcourt club, Azunda Stanley Eguma is full of respect for Sunday’s opponents but belives his charges will get the job done.
“We expect a tough game at home,” Eguma told the club’s official website, www.riversunited.com.ng.
“Heartland are rivals that know us very well so we expect a tough game from them.
“We are not afraid. We can contain them and we are going to plan to win because the three points at stake is very important,” he said.
Heartland’s Director of Media and Communications, Solomon ‘Mourinho’ Onu however believes the Owerri club will not be beaten in Port Harcourt.
“We had our noses bloodied after the last game against MFM. It was a game we dominated but we will correct our mistakes in Port Harcourt on Sunday,” he said.