Rivers United side snapped Enyimba’s 12-match unbeaten run in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) on Wednesday with a richly deserved 1-0 victory.
United could have won more handsomely but for some impressive goalkeeping heroics by the Enyimba goalkeeper, Theophilus Afelokhai who produced a stunning double save late on to keep the score respectable.
The win at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt keeps United in the hunt for a playoff ticket as they now sit just two points behind the third placed MFM FC who have amassed 28 points from 18 matches.
Enyimba started Wednesday’s contest on the front football and should have opened the scoring in the second minute when an unmarked Chinedu Udechukwu rose highest to head Stanley Dimgba’s cross narrowly wide.
It was a premonition the hosts failed to heed as the irrepressible visitors, seemingly buoyed by their assured start to the contest, continued to step on the accelerator.
Former national U20 star, Simon Zenke was the next to ask an attacking question, from an Enyimba perspective as his fierce strike off a defence-splitting Chinedu Udeagha pass skimmed across the face of the United goal with goalkeeper, Abiodun Akande well-beaten.
It was therefore no real surprise when they took the lead on 12 minutes through Ossy Martins’ simple tap in, following good work, off a thrilling team move, by Wasiu Jimoh and Malachi Ohawume.
Their best chances at restoring parity against a badly flagging United side arrived 14 minutes from time when Udechukwu produced two great efforts in about a minute – the first from a freekick and another with a great turn – but the United rear guard stood resolute.