By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
Rivers suffered her third defeat of the season after falling 1-2 to Katsina and at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium.
Faisal Sani’s 5th-minute goal from a freekick and another strike from Boubacar Massaly in the 19th minute gave the host a deserved lead amid a sparkling first-half performance.
Undeterred by the scoreline, Rivers United did put up a better performance in the second half as the introduction by Nelson Esor, Malachi Ohawume and Naziru Auwalu caused all sorts of problems for Katsina United.
But it was Nelson Esor who pulled one back in the 71st minute for the “Pride of Rivers”, and how.
Winning the ball inside Rivers United half, Oshobe Shuji found Ishaq Kayode who raced down the right. Esor collected a return pass from Ishaq Kayode and advanced into the area showing tenacity and quick feet to get past his marker. He crowned that with a curling shot into the far corner.
Solomon Ogberahwe, Malachi Ohawume, and Oshobe Shuji all tested Yufus Mohammed and Ishaq Kayode had a penalty shout turned down. Katsina United was outclassed and holding on – as the match turned on its head to the end.
POST MATCH CONFERENCE WITH THE COACHES
A relieved head coach of Katsina United, Baldwin Bazuaye described the game as the tough one as he poured encomiums on his vanquished opponents.
“They are good, they are a continental team, they are good,” Bazuaye told the club official website, www.riversunitedfc.com.ng
“Because I have played them three times in preseason so I had to work on that to see that I get them where the way I wanted and it happened.” – He concluded
The technical manager of Rivers United, Eguma Stanley spoke highly of his players after the game.
“They tried, they gave a good account of themselves. It’s just that we were unable to win today but at least they tried. You can see the way we played. Second half Katsina United did not play a game. We took charge of proceedings and we played on their half all through. So that means that the players are beginning to understand their selves.”
WHAT IT MEANS
Rivers United drops to the second position on the NPFL table with 15 points from 8 matches, three points behind league leaders Enyimba FC.
Rivers United’s next NPFL game is the 4 pm kick-off on Monday, at home against Nasarawa United.
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