Daniel Israel netted a late equalizer as Rivers United came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium on Sunday.
The hosts dominated possession in the early stages with Elum Sochima going close to scoring on two occasions, but it was Enyimba — happy to sit back and hit Stanley Eguma’s side on the break — who scored the opening goal.
Stanley Dimgba scored from the penalty spot just before half-time after Gabriel Olalekan fouled Chinonso Okonkwo in the box. It was the winger’s second successive goal.
The hosts started the second 45 minutes with more pace and control and were rewarded when Israel powered home an header in the 77th minute.
With six minutes left, Chinonso Okonkwo received his marching orders. Despite the numerical disadvantage, the Aba side held out to ensure a share of the spoils.
Enyimba FC Coach Paul Aigbogun praised his side’s determination.
“We were very determined from the beginning.
“I think the players did very well. There was a lot of pressure on us, but we thank God, we managed to hold it out.
“It’s a good result by God’s grace, we want to keep going forward,” Aigbogun told riversunitedfc media.
Rivers United tactician, Stanley Eguma admitted that his players lacked composure, especially in the opening half.
“The players didn’t play well in the first half. We were not co-ordinated, even though we missed several scoring chances.
“But the second half, I think, was the better half. We were able to keep our game down and double attack from the flanks.
“With the change of formation after we conceded a goal, we shove in more men in attack, i think it brought a lot of chances, but our team was not converting those chances,” Eguma said.
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