Rivers United banished memories of midweek home defeat to Sunshine Stars with a comfortable 3-1 win over Wikki Tourists in the Nigeria Professional Football League.
Goals from Guy Kuemian, Emeka Ogbugh and a Penalty from Ali Chiwendu rendered Abubakar Lawal’s strike for the visitors as mere consolation.
With both teams hovering just above the relegation zone, it was the hosts who started brightly.
Kuemian put the hosts in front with a header minutes after kickoff. The Ivorian converted Ali Chiwendu’s left wing cross with the help of Nwabulu who despite getting a hand to it failed to keep it out.
In stoppage-time, Emeka Ogbugh produced a sensational strike worthy of winning any game. The ex-Heartland forward controlled Lukman’s cross with his chest and fired a half volley past Nwabulu. The goal ensured the hosts take a 2-0 lead into the break.
In the second half, Wikki Tourists pulled one back four minutes after the restart. Abubakar Lawal reduced the deficit with a toe poked effort.
The hosts suffered a setback when keeper Akande picked up a suspected leg fracture while trying to save Lawal’s effort. Sunday Rotimi came on for Akande after the keeper was carried off in an ambulance.
Minutes after the game re-continued, Rivers United won a penalty when Lukman was felled in the box. In his first home start of the season, Ali Chiwendu cooly slotted past substitute keeper Sani Halliru in the 59th minute.
Wikki Tourists Victor Alegbe tested Rotimi with a ferocious shot from distance. The keeper was equal to the task as he calmly saved the strike.
Rivers United pressed forward in search of a fourth goal as the clock ticked towards the ninety. Ogbugh’s jinking run and cross from the left failed to find Lukman lurking in the box. In the end the home side held on for the victory.
RIVERS UTD: 23. Akande (Rotimi 55′), 2. Nweke, 5. Douhadji, 12. Olalekan, 3. Chiwendu, 13. Atuloma, 8. Igbinoba, 27. Weli, 26. Ogbugh (Jaiyeola 90+2), 9. Kuemian (Odumegwu 68′), 15. Lukman.
Subs not used: 22. Rotimi, 14. Doumbia, 31. Liadi, 10. Eguakun.
Wikki Tourists: 22. Nwabulu (Halliru 46′), 4. Ibrahim, 3. Waziri, 14. Madu, 5. Musa, 6. Ambrose, 19. Ajoku, 11. Lawal, 16. Chinedu, 21. Alegbe, 13. Ismael (Jonathan 28′)
Subs not used: 29. Nnaemeka, 31. Samuel, 24. Guda, 33. Umar.
More to follow.