By Olanrewaju Akojede
Rivers United Football Club, the defending champions of Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), on Friday ended the 26-game unbeaten run of Bendel Insurance in all competitions with a 2-1 defeat.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Rivers United’s win was in the first fixture of Match Day Four at the ongoing 2022/2023 NPFL Super Six.
The match played at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos saw Rivers United gaining the upper hand, even as both teams were meeting for the first time.
NAN reports that Bendel Insurance tasted the first defeat of the season after running a new record of 26 unbeaten matches in all competitions in the 2022/2023 season.
The Pride of Rivers did not lose any of the last NPFL Super Six games, having won one match, drawn two, while the Benin Arsenal drew all their three previous matches.
The Pride of Rivers were able to dislodge the goals from Maurice Chukwu and Joseph Onoja, while Divine Nwanchukwu produced the consolatory goal for the Monday Osagie-tutored team.
The first half of the game produced sparks as both teams were unrelenting in their efforts at goal, after which Rivers United FC’s Chukwu found the back of the net two minutes into extra time.
The defending champions, coached by Stanley Eguama, doubled their lead once again at the 90th minute as substitute Joseph Onoja found a loose ball in the 18-yard box to slot home the second goal of the day.
Just as the time was ticking away, at the 95th minute, the newly invited player to Super Eagles team, Nwanchukwu, bagged his third goal of the NPFL Super Six campaign with a beautiful header.
The result now returns Rivers United to the summit of the NPFL Super Six table with eight points having won two games and drawn two.
Bendel Insurance on the other hand are left with only three points from four games, having drawn three matches and lost one.
Speaking to NAN on the sidelines of the match, Rivers United FC’s midfielder, Anthony Ohaegbu, said the team was on course to successfully defend the crown it won last season.
“We are not the first to defend league title, some clubs have done it in the past, including Enyimba FC. So, we can repeat same.
“We are on course in our pursuit because we have good backing and support. We are united in our goal.
“There is no problem whatsoever in the team, we are not fighting. Whatever happened on the field is about the progress. When we get back home we will review everything,” he said.(NAN)