Ekwueme Tico/Select Pre-season Tourney Day 3 Wrap: Rivers United beat Apex Krane; Heartland pip First Mahi


Rivers United recovered from their 2-0 loss to Heartland FC with a victory over Apex Krane of Agbor whom they defeated by the same scores to record their first win of the Ifeanyi Ekwueme Tico/Select Pre-season Tournament today at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri.

The Pride of Rivers were not in their elements on Tuesday against the Naze Millionaires and were pinned 2-0 but against the Nationwide League side, Apex Krane they were able to shake off the lethargic performance to return to winning ways.

Impressive Ishaq Kayode put the Pride of Rivers in the lead in the 19th minute through his trade mark run from the right after he was freed by Nelson Esor. He cut in and sent a rocket of a shot into the bottom right of the post.

Rivers United tried to increase the lead after the initial effort but it was to no avail as it ended 1-0 at halftime.

The Stanley Eguma’s men scored the second goal at the resumption of the second half through Moses Omoduemuke who netted a scorcher from 20 yards to double United’s lead in the 46th minute.

Kayode continued to mesmerize the defence of Apex Krane but he was not allowed to apply the finishing touch with three players marking him off the ball as soon as he gained possession of the ball in the 71st minute.

With the victory, Rivers United are in the third spot with three points below Heartland FC who have six points and Abia Warriors who are with three points and with better goals difference.

In another game played in Owerri, Heartland FC pipped First Mahi 1-0.

Okey Peter Nwadike notched the only goal of the game in the 23rd minute of the game.

First Mahi stepped up their game after they went behind and were close to scoring the equalising goal in the 67th minute when Heartland FC goalkeeper, Segun Fatuwase touched the ball with his hand outside the 18 yards box. The resultant free-kick played by Moses Obioma hit woodwork and bounced back to the pitch.

There was another late chance for Olamide Alex who was given a defence splitting pass and was one on one with Heartland goalie, Fatuwase who dived full length to make a crucial last minute save to deny the Owerri based non-league side.

Tomorrow, Heartland FC will face Apex Krane by 1pm while the Star Match of the day pitched, Abia Warriors against Rivers United by 3pm.

In the games fixed for Enugu, Enugu Rangers will slug it out with Enugu Selected while Lamray United and Cynosure FC have a date also tomorrow.

The pre-season tournament is bankrolled by ex-Super Eagles midfielder, Ifeanyi Ekwueme with technical support from Tico/Select kit manufacturing companies.


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