Obomate’s strike helps Rivers Utd stun champions Enyimba

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Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions, Enyimba, began the defence of their title on a disappointing note, losing by a lone goal away to Rivers United of Port Harcourt at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium on Sunday.

Frederick Obomate got the only goal of the pulsating encounter in the 65th minute, through a free kick, in a game characterized with brilliant saves at both ends.

Pressure from the hosts forced Enyimba to build within their half in the first few minutes, to cushion the possibility of conceding early in the game.

The gamble by Stanley Eguma’s side almost paid off in the 6th minute, when Bernard Ovoke skipped past Emma Anyanwu into the penalty area, but was immediately halted by Chinedu Udoji.

Rotimi Sunday would produce two stunning saves in the 23rd and 27th minutes, to deny Onyekachi Peter and Ikechukwu Ibenegbu respectively from putting Enyimba ahead.

Enyimba edged close to taking the lead moments before the break, but Stephen Chukwude would only tap Ezekiel Bassey’s cross above the woodwork, six yards off.

Rivers United punished Paul Aigbogun’s men for their numerous misses, when Frederick Obomate’s rattling 25 yards free kick went past Enyimba goalkeeper Femi Thomas in the 65th minute.

Bassey’s scintillating run in the 76th minute, almost gifted Enyimba an equalizer, but Rotimi had better ideas, when he amazingly got the better of the winger’s strike from close range.

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