RIVERS UNITED TOPPLE LOBI STARS TO GO JOINT TOP OF NPFL

BY SAMMY WEJINYA.

Goals from Esor Nelson and Malachi Ohawume proved decisive for Rivers United in their 2-1 victory over Lobi Stars in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) on Wednesday.

United started briskly and scored with their first real attack with pint-sized terror, Nelson heading with precision off a Konan N’gouan cross in the second minute.

The hosts continued to enjoy the better of the opening exchanges but Lobi looked to hit on the break at every opportunity.

They (Lobi) finally struck United’s underbelly and it was a thing of beauty.

 Omotayo Adebogun produced an outrageous 25-yard pass which completely carved open the Rivers United defence and the overlapping John Lazarus latched onto the brilliant delivery before f=providing a finish to match to level matters at a frenzied Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt.

United then retook the initiative, creating chances and will and coming close on no less than two occasions to retaking the lead.

Stephen Gopey hit both posts for the hosts before Esor was denied by a goal line clearance just before the break.

It was then left for Ohawume to apply the decisive contribution with 17 minutes remaining to propel United to joint top of the division.

Technical manager of the Port Harcourt club, Stanley Eguma spoke to the club’s official website, www.riversunitedfc.com.ng after the game.

“The stakes are quite high at this stage of the season and we gave our best which gave us the victory today,” Eguma said.

Lobi Stars midfielder, Nzube Anaezemba also took the time to discuss his side’s performance.

“It was a very good game despite the fact that we lost. We did not underrate Rivers United but this was a very tough game for us,” he said.

Rivers United are now joint top of the NPFL standings with 27 points from 15 matches.

The ‘Pride Of Rivers’ will next travel to Kano to face Jagawa Golden Stars on January 19.