NPFL: Rivers United winning run halted by Dakkada

Dakkada ended Rivers United’s four-game winning streak with a well-deserved win at the Nest of Champions.
Caleb Esu’s side beat the Port Harcourt club 2-1 to earn their sixth win of the Nigeria Professional Football League season and move up to fourth in the table.
The hosts led 2-0 at half-time through Spencer Bassey’s early goal and an Azubuike Egwuekwe own goal. A late Bamba Bakary strike proved to be a consolation for the visitors.
Dakkada, who made just one change to the team that lost at MFM, tore Stanley Eguma’s men in the early stages. And they should have taken the lead through Femi Ajayi in the seventh minute. Moses Effiong’s cross evaded everyone in the middle. Unwana Asuquo retrieved the ball from the far side and whipped in a cross, before a misplaced defensive headed clearance fell to Ajayi, who fired just wide.
Three minutes later, the Uyo club were in front. Imo Obot latched onto a loose ball after Effiong’s attacking move was stopped, and then found Bassey with a delightful cross. The forward rose to connect. His header rolled into the bottom corner after bouncing off the ground. It was the forward’s first goal of the season.
Rivers nearly drew level 15 minutes later, when Esor Nelson chested down a pass. He couldn’t hit the target, though.
The hosts found themselves in danger again few minutes later after they failed to track two Rivers players. However, they were lucky to see the away side’s deflected header miss the target.
Rafiu Ishaq also went close to levelling things up — with a chance from close range, which forced Vincent Edafe into a smart save.
Ovunda Darlington then spilled Obot’s shot, but his defenders blocked the follow-up before the ball went behind for a corner.
And just before half-time, Asuquo sent in a brilliant cross from the far side. Nigeria international Egwuekwe inadvertently turned the ball into his own net to double Dakkada’s lead.
After the break, the home team continued pressing and Ajayi sent the ball high from close range after it fell kindly to him.
In the 50th minute, the former Crown FC attacker and Bassey missed opportunities in quick succession following Obot’s cross.
Lateef Babalola also spurn a great scoring opportunity, as he nodded wide from just five yards.
Dakkada then endured a self-inflicted scare when Alalibo miscued a clearance, turning the ball towards his own goal. The ball sailed just wide.
Moments later, Esu’s team had another chance. Ajayi latched onto Babalola’s long ball and squared the ball to Archibong, who failed to hit target.
Obot clipped the crossbar off a freekick after Ajayi was fouled near the byline.
And with two minutes of normal time left to play, Rivers pulled one back. The referee adjudged Harisson Ibukun to have clipped Stephen Gopey and Bakary stepped up to send Edafe the wrong way.
The result leaves Rivers in third — three points adrift of new leaders Lobi Stars, who beat MFM.

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