Under pressure Rivers United football club improved their position in the ongoing Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) as they beat visiting Abia Warriors of Umuahia 2-1 in a fiercely contested match day nine encounter decided at the Adokiye Amasiemaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.
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Abia Warriors Coach Erasmus Onuh gave injury returnee Ozor Philip his first start and first game of the season and the erstwhile Enyimba International midfielder did not disappoint as he gave a good account of himself.
Rivers United took the lead in the 36th minute when a penalty was awarded to the home side and Alex Oyowah made no mistake from the spot sending Abia Warriors keeper the wrong way.
Three minutes later, the visitors thought they came close to restoring parity when Adejoh Ojonugwa’s effort produced a one-hand save from Rivers United’s goalkeeper after Jerry Ogu’s tailored cross found him unmarked inside the home side’s penalty box, but the center referee shockingly adjudged him to be in an offside position to the chagrin of Abia Warriors bench.
Abia Warriors conceded for the second time when veteran defender, Ifeanyi Anaemena inadvertently kicked the ball into his own net while trying to clear a cross in the 82nd minute.
Abia Warriors came out of their shell as they took the battle to their opponents and were duly awarded a penalty of their own two minutes later after Sunday Megwo’s cross was handled by United’s defender inside the 16-meter box and Ifeanyi Anaemena calmly slotted home to redeem his image and reduce the deficit.
A spirited effort from the Warriors after Anaemena’s goal kept the home side on their toes throughout the remainder of the encounter.
However, the Warriors could not find the much-needed equalizer as the center referee brought proceedings to an end.
Up next NPFL for Abia Warriors is a date with Enugu Rangers in Umuahia.
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