Rivers United further compound the woes of the Lagos based MFM FC as the Rivers State-based club picked up their 13th home win of the season with a comprehensive victory on Sunday at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium.
In a match United dominated for large parts, Chijioke Akuneto scored once in each half, sandwiched by a fine Nelson Esor’s strike, a clinical George Akpabio’s finish and Ishaq Rafiu Kayode’s injury-time well-taken free-kick ensured the Pride of Rivers moved 7 points clear at the top of the NPFL log.
Having been hit with the absence of star midfielder Morice Chukwu who was suspended for the tie due to accumulated yellow cards, Stanley Eguma had to shuffle his pack with Lookman Binuyo coming into the heart of the midfield. Experience safe hand Theophilus Afelokai also got a recall to the starting eleven.
Rivers United’s recent fine form had given them the confidence to attack the Nigeria Professional Football League’s bottom club right from the off, and it only took 16 minutes to open the scoring.
Nelson Esor – outstanding in recent weeks – was once again at the heart of it, receiving the ball in the box after good work from Ebube Duru and Ishaq Rafiu Kayode to sweep home the game’s opener.
Rivers United continued to press forward and Chijioke Akuneto had a good chance to double United’s advantage but saw his shot miss the target narrowly on a very wet Sunday evening with Joseph Onoja and Nelson Esor coming close to scoring.
Just before the interval Rivers United finally made their pressure count as Kazie Enyinnaya shot at goal and hit an onrushing Chijioke Akuneto in plenty of space inside the box and the prolific forward raced on and found the bottom corner.
Rivers United continued to dominate after the restart and got a third when Chijioke Akuneto was at the right place and time to score from close range after Nelson Esor’s shot was blocked.
Supporters of Rivers United did have to wait for 38 minutes to see their side extend their lead, Substitute Kingsley Patrick collecting the ball on the right of the area, setting up Ishaq Kayode who combined well with Sikiru Olatunbosun to free up George Akpabio who expertly tapped in to finish off a great team move.
Experienced goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokai was called to duty during the game but his agility and reflexes ensured the clean sheet was kept.
Ishaq Rafiu Kayode wrapped things up for the Pride of Rivers in injury time with a well-taken free-kick, the 5th goal of the game and his 14th goal of the season, capping off a fine home win.
With the convincing 5-0 win against MFM, Rivers United go 7 points clear at the top of the NPFL log.
Rivers United travel to Owerri to face Heartland FC on Saturday 14th May 2022