Oche Salefu’s 84th minute strike from the spot saw Rivers United edge Go Round 1-0 in a matchday 7 NPFL encounter played at the Yakubu Gowon stadium in Port Harcourt.
The ex Remo Stars midfielder slotted the ball coolly into the net after Awala Moses was punished for fouling substitute Osita Chikere.
Rivers United coach Stanley Eguma made two changes to their starting lineup from the team who lost at Rangers in midweek. Bernard Ovoke, Guy Kuemian started in place of Sunday Afolabi and Daniel Israel.
On his part, Go Round coach Ngozi Elechi opted for Awala Moses in defence in place of Chile Azu while Stanley Worlu started upfront ahead of Adelani Adeseun who scored Go Round’s first ever top flight goal on matchday two.
In what was a sub-par first half performance where both teams struggled to create anything meaningful Sunday Rotimi almost provided a bit of comic relief when he was caught napping by Okon Otop while trying to clear a back pass. Rotimi’s botched clearance ricocheted off Otop before trickling wide.
At the restart, Rivers United’s Ovoke had a chance to open the scoring when he broke free on the counter but he couldn’t shrug off the returning Odinaka Onyirumba as he shot tamely at Nwabali.
In search of a goal, Eguma made two quick substitutions as he hurled off a tired looking Ovoke and Kuemian who were replaced by Daniel Israel and Osita Chikere.
It was the latter who won a deserved penalty for the host when he was brought down inside the area by Awala Moses. Up stepped Salefu who made no mistake from the spot as he sent Nwabali the wrong way. The goal was the only bright spark in what was an otherwise drab contest.
Rivers United: Rotimi, Ojobo, Austine, Gbadebo, Chiwendu, Obinze, Bakari (Koffi 86′), Salefu, Kuemian (Chikere 64′), Ovoke (Israel 64′), Akinbinu.
Subs not used: Cole, Zoumana, Weli, Bello.
Go Round: Nwabali, Akobundu, Onyirumba, Awala, Vincent, Ukwu, Esor (Ezeala 81′), Chukwu, Nwachukwu, Otop (Oghale 51′), Worlu.
Subs not used: Obiowo, Azu, Essien, Kpekpe, Dennis.
Cautions: Chiwendu; Vincent