A 93rd minute strike by Osita Chikere was all Rivers United needed to pick all the three points at stake in Ilorin on Sunday as the visitors ran away with a 1-0 win.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Match Day 10 Nigeria Professional Football League encounter was played at the Kwara Stadium Complex.
The hosts started the game brilliantly and would have been ahead 10 minutes into the match when an unmarked Michael Ohanu beat the offside trap inside the opposition’s box, but the striker’s effort went way wide.
In the 13th minute, Luqman Binuyo’s pass would have gotten Kwara United punished but Cyril Oriaku and Akeem Onigbari defended well to deny the visitors a goal.
In the 17th minute, Markson Ojobo would have scored when he noticed Eze Chidiebere in goal for the Harmony Boys was off his line and lobbed a long ball from the far right.
The Kwara United goalkeeper, however, quickly leaped back to make a brilliant save.
Chikere sent Emeka Ogbugh through in the 34th minute when he headed toward his path for another opportunity for Rivers United inside the Kwara United box but the midfielder’s shot was wide.
Kwara United came out stronger than Rivers United in the second half as they dominated most of the proceedings.
Kwara United’s John Obuh introduced both Yakubu Aliyu and Sunday Odudu in the 48th and 60th minutes respectively to mount pressure on the visitors from the flanks and his decision almost paid off on a few occasions if not the wastefulness of the Harmony Boys’ attackers in front of goal.
Ohawume Malachi’s introduction in the 78th minute for Rivers United helped the visitors to peg the hosts to their half with his mesmerising display from the flank.
Stanley Eguma’s decision to send in Malachi paid off in the 93rd when Kwara United’s Hashimu Haliru lost possession to him before the winger found Chikere to tap home from close range.
Obuh said he was very disappointed with the result.
He said: “I feel terribly bad because we had opportunities to win the game during regulation time but we didn’t take our chances.
“We took a lot of things for granted.
“The players disappointed me after picking a point in far away Lafia last week.”
Eguma commended his players for putting up a good performance in Ilorin.
He said: “We tried to play our game today but Kwara United didn’t make that easy for us and we had to fight to finish.
“My players showed character not to have conceded during the game.
“I noticed Kwara United was coming out too much, hence the reason I sent in some wingers to punish them through the flank and we caught them on the counter attack for the goal.”
NAN recalls that the defeat is Kwara United’s second of the season after Match Day 1-2 loss to Niger Tornadoes of Minna.