Rivers United almost did a double against El Kanemi Warriors but had to settle for a point following a 1-1 draw in a match day 21 fixture of the Nigeria Professional Football League decided at the El-Kanemi Sports Stadium, Maiduguri on Sunday.
Before the match the coach of Rivers, Stanley Eguma said he was hopeful of not leaving Maiduguri empty handed and that was the case as 45+2 minutes goal from Benard Ovoke put United in front.
Ovoke pounced on a spill from Jobe Moduo, the man in goal for El Kanemi following a 20 yard strike from Markson Ojobo.
Prior to that goal, Rivers United had their goal keeper Emeka Nwabulu to thank following several saves he made to keep them in the game most notably denying Anthony Yeful in as many times in the first half.
It ended 1-0 in first half which was largely dominated by El Kanemi.
When play resumed in the second half, United imposed themselves in the game which almost paid off but Osita Chikere could not convert from 6 yards after a beautiful cross from Christian Weli found him one on one with the goal keeper with his strike averted for corner in the 76th minute.
But in the 88th minute, the Warriors were awarded a penalty after it was adjudged that Markson Ojobo handled the ball in the box.
Micheal Ohanu stepped up and converted to level scores in the 90th minute. The match ended 1-1 despite the 5 minutes additional time given.
Coach of El Kanemi Warriors Imama Amapakabo was not too disappointed with the result after final whistle.
He said, “We had the game under control from the very first minute and unfortunately we conceded a goal that came out of noting, we had several chances in front of goal but couldn’t convert them, it was not a good day for us but most importantly we were able to get a draw.”
His counterpart was excited and he thinks the result will spur Rivers to victories in subsequent games.
“It was the good game for us, I commend my players it would have been all three points today but we were able to get one point, from here we will continue, you know we have though opponents play at home and we will try to improve on our home performances.”
The result means United have amassed 29 points sitting 9th in the table while, El Kanemi are still sitting 17th with 23 points.