By George Akpayen

Andy Okpe played a major role in ensuring that Rivers United claim the full points in one of the six of their Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) matches against Katsina United at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.

The striker did not actually get among the goals in Rivers United’s 2-0 win but provided the assists for both goals for his teammates, Deputy Echeta and Kazie Enyinnaya to score a goal apiece in each half to snap Katsina United’s attempt to stretch their undefeated run to six games.

Rivers United head coach Stanley Eguma kept the same side that defeated Rangers last weekend while his Katsina United made just a change to his starters with Emmanuel Okoko starting ahead of Moses Effiong from the last time out at Bayelsa United.

The Rivers club dominated the opening exchanges and by extension the first half with Kazie and Okpe coming close to giving Eguma’s men the lead inside the opening 25 minutes.

A minute to the break, Echeta turned up inside the box the head home from close range past Katsina United goalkeeper Ibrahim Pius off Okpe’s headed assist.

The second 45 minutes was quite balanced as Katsina United opted for an attacking approach with Michael Ibe, Azeez Falolu, Samson Olasufo and Andrew Idoko all involved.

Midway into the second half Okpe came close to doubling his side’s lead but watched as his attempt was cleared off the goalline.

Alex Oyowah also got in the act but his header came off the crossbar to spare Pius the blushes of conceding a second on 77 minutes.

Three minutes later, Kazie applied a perfect finish to Okpe’s pass to give Rivers United a two-goal cushion.

The win takes Rivers United up to 12th place on the standings ahead of their short trip for the next matchweek to Yenagoa where they face Bayelsa United in a South-south derby on Monday.

Katsina United will also travel to Aba to play against champions Enyimba this Sunday in a Matchday 32 fixture.

David NPFL
April 25, 2024
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