Rivers United cruised to an easy routine 2-0 win over Katsina United thanks to goals from Michael Gopey and Ishaq Rafiu in either side of the half.
Gopey’s fabulous strike in the fifth minute set the tone for a dominant and powerful first half display from the hosts who could have added three more, at the very least, in a largely one-sided first half in which the visitors failed to muster a single shot on target.
Gilt-edged opportunities came and went the way of United but Ishaq on two occasions, Gopey and Esor Nelson all failed to make the visitors pay.
United continued to dominate in the second half and it was only a matter of time before consistent pressure led to a second goal by the impressive Ishaq who finished off impressively in the 75th minute.
Esor Nelson picked up a second Yellow card with a little over nine minutes remaining to put a blur on an otherwise perfect day in the office for the hosts.
The dismissal meant, Obomate Frederick’s season’s debut (the midfielder was already on the touchline to replace the dismissed Esor) was halted.
Technical manager of Rivers United, Stanley Eguma stopped short of describing Sunday’s display as his side’s best of the season.
“No, it wasn’t our best display of the season because we still need to be more clinical in front of goal,” he told the club’s official website, www.riversunitedfc.com.ng.
“It is not yet time for us to celebrate. Sometimes, we play and we don’t score goals.
“Today, we scored two but I believe that we could have scored more,” he said.
Henry Makinwa, head coach of Katsina United, said his team lacked potency in the game.
“Clinically, we were very poor,” he said.
Ospino Egbe, Chigozie Ihunda, Konan N’Gouan, Lookman Binuyo, Temple Emekayi, Festus Austin, Rafiu Ishaq, Stephen Gopey, Ogbonna Onuoha (Malachi Ohawume 74′), Cletus Emotan (Christian Weli 72′) and Esor Nelson
Substitutes not used
Darlington Ovunda, Peter Ubakanma, Azubuike Egwekwe, Obomate Fredrick and Junior Osaghae
Kassaly Daouda, Frank Kappe, Tsawanya Samuel, Habibu Yakubu, Adekunle Adeniyi, Dominic Abah, Usman Bara’u (Abdulkarim Ahmed 79′), Lukman Mohammed, Eric Gwammy (Atule Joseph 61′), Nurudeen Ibrahim and Salisu Saidu.
Substitutes not used.
Aliko Mustapha, Suleman Shehu, Ebuka Egbuebu, Abdullahi Abubakar and Suleman Musa
Rivers United: Stephen Gopey 5′, Rafiu Ishaq 75′
Rivers United: Esor Okwa Nelson 45′, Cletus Emotan 64′
Kastina United: Lukman Mohammed 45′ and Frank Kappe 61′
Red cards: Esor Nelson 80′
Changes to squad from last matchday
Center Referee: Adebimpe Quadri
Assistant Referee 1: Mohammed Mohammed
Assistant Referee 2: Mimisen Iyorhe
Fourth Official: Chimezie Udennaka