Mayuku Charles Media Officer Rivers United
Rivers United kicked started their Governor Dapo Abiodun preseason tournament campaign with a thrilling, hard-fought 2-0 victory against Bendel Insurance on Thursday in Ijebu Ode. With Bendel Insurance having won their opening fixture 2-1 against Warri Wolves, the “Pride of Rivers” were up against it and knew that three points were needed if they were from the beginning to stand a chance of progression. But in a game of real ebb and flow, it was the Benin landlords who started on the front foot as Austin Obasoyen raced through on goal only for Bakari Bamba to get a foot in at just the right moment for a corner kick.
Rivers United came straight back, with Chika Godwin going close with a one-on-one chance which was well saved by Amas Obasogie in goal for Insurance before Ospino Egbe denied Ayuba Zaidu and later Sarki Ismail as Baldwin Bazuaye ’s side piled on the pressure for most of the half which ended goalless.
On resumption of the second half Coach Stanley Eguma’s led Rivers United remained a danger on the counter, and Godwin Aguda looked certain to open the scoring from range only to be denied by a sprawling Amas Obasogie save.
Rivers United’s resolve did not waver though, and they were rewarded for their persistence in the 51st minute when Godwin Aguda navigate his way in style through a crowded Bendel Insurance defence and his pinpoint cross was met by the head of Chika Godwin who finish was exceptional for United first goal of the match.
Godwin Aguda crowned his brilliant performance on the day when he made sure of Rivers United’s huge victory with the second goal as he fired the ball over the line from a tight angle.
SETTING THE SCENE
The task facing Rivers United prior to kick off was a sizeable one: not only did they need a win to boost their chances of progression right from their first game but they had to do it against a Bendel Insurance side in red-hot form. The ancient Benin landlords had won their opening fixture prior to Thursday game by coming from a goal down to win 2-1.
Experienced Coach Stanley Eguma seemed not to be intimidated by Bendel Insurance opening day heroics as he made 8 chances to the Cup winning side that started the final match of the Governor Nyesom Wike preseason tournament
Ospino Egbe started in goal while, Bamba Bakari, Thomas Kpozo, Ifeanyi Anaemena, Desmond Agbekpornu, Bashir Sheriff, Stephen Gopey and Chika Godwin were also given the nod to start.
POST MATCH INTERVIEW
Rivers United Technical Adviser Stanley Eguma insisted that there is big improvement in his team’s play.
“There is a very big improvement in our game today. Actually, in the first half the fatigue of the journey affected our game but the players Rose to the occasion in the second half and got those two goals. It was a good game, Insurance team also played well. They have a good side.” – he stated
Stanley Eguma also spoke on what the afforded his technical crew to assetain.
“We also used the opportunity to look at some of our players who have not played since too. Like those who did not play in the Governor Nyesom Wike preseason tournament. Players like Thomas Kpozo. He did well today in the midfield, players like Stephen Gopey, who was absent in the Governor Wike tournament. We also have a player like Desmond Agbekpornu, he was entirely out of the Governor Wike tournament and it was a big opportunity for us to see him today and he was very fantastic. He has really come into the game. We have started putting our team together toward the first leg of the CAF Confederation’s cup competition.” – Eguma concluded
Rivers United FC vs Warri Wolves FC
Date: Friday 20th November 2020
Venue: Dipo Dino International Stadium Ijebu Ode Ogun State