Ivorian striker Guy Kuemian’s neat finish in the 67th minute of the second half was all Rivers United needed to edge past an unlucky El-kanemi Warriors at the Yakubu Gowon stadium in Port Harcourt.
Kuemian rounded off a sweet passing move as he collected a through pass from debutant Ochewuchi Salefu to score past George Michael. It’s the striker’s second goal against the same opponent following his strike in the 2-1 victory over the same opponent a year ago.
El-kanemi Warriors were without their Technical Adviser Imama Amapakabo who is in Morocco on national duty with the Super Eagles at the African Nations Championship. In his stead was Eziwo Ernest who painfully watched on as his side failed to turn their chances into goals.
Rivers United’s Samuel Akinbinu who was one of six new players named in the starting line-up for the host threatened the opposition’s goal when he volleyed wide early on in the game.
In a game which lacked any form of real quality in the first half, the visitors could have gone ahead eight minutes after the interval. Bello Kofarmata’s angled shot sailed over the bar with coach Ernest visibly seen causing his luck.
Anthony Sunday was next to follow with a missed chance for the visitors as his right footed shot failed to trouble Robert Cole in goal for Rivers United. Rivers United soon ensured the visitors rue their missed chances when Kuemian latched unto to a Salefu well threaded through ball to open the scores, a goal well appreciated by the home fans.
With fifteen minutes left to play, Aghahowa Otakho and Sulley Mohammed spunned good chances to draw their side level, with the latter fialing to keep his shot on target after being put through on goal by Samuel Mathias.
There was one final action before the end of the game as Otakho cleared the ball off the line after Salefu had rounded George Michael thinking he had scored his sides second.
More to follow