By George Akpayen

Remo Stars played themselves into the title race for the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) this season after coming from a goal down to defeat Rivers United 2-1 in a rearranged match on Monday.

It was the first time that the Sky Blue Stars would defeat the Rivers club in Nigeria’s top division after nine attempts (W1 D2 L6).

Rivers United head coach Stanley Eguma made four changes to the side that lost 1-2 a Bayelsa United at the tail end of last month with goalkeeper Osagie Onisodumeya, Muyiwa Fehintola, Endurance Ebedebiri and Farouk Mohammed taking the places of Abiodun Akande (not named in the squad), Anthony Ohaegbu, Samuel Mathias and Kazie Enyinnaya.

Head coach of the home side, Daniel Ogunmodede, named an unchanged side from their last game.

Remo Stars dominated the opening exchanges but it was Rivers United who got their noses in front. Deputy Echeta won a spot kick off Nduka Junior which was converted by former Remo Stars man Andy Okpe on 19 minutes.

Ogunmodede’s men practically struggled to put together passes and ended up trailing at the break at home for the first time this season.

Remo Stars coach then opted to switch his tactics in the second 45 minutes when he sent on Olamilekan Adams, Franck Mawuena, Dayo Ojo, Aniekeme Okon and Ossy Martins at some point to ramp up the pressure on their opponents.

The substitution worked to good effect with Mawuena getting involved in the buildup to the equalizer from the impressive Hadi Haruna on 68 minutes.

The Togolese striker, Mawuena then combined with another substitute Olamilekan Adams to head in the winner on 83 minutes from a corner kick.

The win helps Remo Stars trim Rangers’ lead at the top of the standings to one point with six matchweeks to round off the season.

On the other hand, Rivers United will play the next of their outstanding games at Kwara United on Thursday then followed by a game at home to Niger Tornadoes on Sunday.

David NPFL
May 6, 2024
Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *