By George Akpayen
Rivers United captain Nyima Nwagua and Ivorian Yao Bernard Kouassi scored a goal each to help their team to a 2-0 triumph in a rearranged fixture in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
The Pride of Rivers, Nigeria’s only remaining club in this season’s CAF competition, began the match business-like and it did not take them long before they got their noses in front.
On 10 minutes, Nwagua opened scoring in the south-south derby. The former Kano Pillars man cushioned the ball finely and picked his spot beyond Bayelsa United goalkeeper Oluwaseun Solomon after good work from Deputy Echeta.
Six minutes later, Bayelsa United got themselves a clear sight of goal to level the score but their leading scorer Robert Mizo failed to make it count. Mizo was played through on goal and with just goalkeeper Abiodun Akande to beat, he fired his effort over the bar.
In added time of first half, Rivers United nearly doubled their lead. Bayelsa United defender Loveday Saro almost turned in a cross into his own goal but had the woodwork to thank.
Yao would however put the game to bed with five minutes to time. The Ivorian striker headed home Samuel Antwi’s inch-perfect cross after coming on for Nwagua 15 minutes earlier.
The defeat leaves Bayelsa United in the bottom-four as they prepare to face Plateau United this weekend in a Matchweek 14 contest.
Rivers United are off duty in the NPFL this weekend as they have a CAF Confederation Cup game in Tunis against Club Africain on December 20.