Two second half goals from Emeka Ogbugh and substitute Rolland Koffi was all Rivers United needed to secure maximum points at the expense of Heartland FC of Owerri in one of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Matchday 15 encounters played at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
Rivers United came into this tie off the back of two successive league defeat. They almost fell behind when Heartland’s Lucky Enariojake missed the first chance of scoring for his side twelve minutes after kick off before United’s Bakari Bamba fired wide five minutes later.
Rivers United’s search for goal continued and when it looked like the fans were going to have cause to celebrate a goal, Bakari Bamba fired wide again to the chagrin of the home supporters.
Few seconds later Heatland came close with Lucky Enariojake left bearing down on goal, but Rivers United’s Emeka Nwabulu who stood in goal for suspended first choice goalkeeper, Rotimi Sunday – who is still serving his three match ban – came quicker than anyone thought and took possession of the ball.
The second 45minutes saw the visitors show some upgrade in their style of play but unfortunately they fell behind four minutes later. Emeka Ogbugh fired a low shot from outside the box to the right corner of the net to open scoring, the ex Heartland forward chose not to celebrate his goal against his former side.
And while spectators wondered why the forward played down his goal, in the 67th minute, Roland Koffi who came in for injured Frederick Obomate sealed the victory with the second goal of the day
Technical Adviser of Rivers United, Stanley Eguma told the press after the game that his team would have scored more goals but the three points was a morale booster for the club.
“Actually the number of goals we scored is not propotional to the chances we got today, we would have scored more goals but I think my players were a bit careless in front of goal but its part of game.
“We will work harder and correct some of these mistakes, one good thing is that we have started scoring goals home and away” the gafer said.
Rivers United who will be away to Katsina United on Sunday 8 April are 10th on the NPFL log with 20 points having played a game less.
Meanwhile, Heartland drop to 18th after matchday 15. They’ll welcome Abia Warriors to the Dan Ayiam stadium in an all Eastern Nigeria derby on Sunday.