In their quest to lay their hands on the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) trophy for the first time, Rivers United travelled to Uyo to face Dakkada FC, who are battling to save themselves from relegation. With nine matches to end the 2021/22 season, the Pride of Rivers are seven points clear at the top of the table.
Rivers last won on the road at Katsina United on Matchday 22. After that lone goal result, Stanley Eguma’s squad lost away to Sunshine Stars, Kwara United and Heartland.
Rivers United defeated Remo Stars 1-0 in their last match, while Dakkada were beaten by Rangers by the same margin at Awka City on Saturday to record a back-to-back loss.
In the reverse fixture at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt, a brace by Ishaq Kayode and a consolation goal from Emmanuel Ayaosi ensured the Pride of Rivers claimed maximum points.
Dakkada must avoid defeat to rise from the bottom of the table where are placed ahead of this fixture following the victory of MFM in the mid-day match against Gombe United. The Lagos side, playing at Dipo Dina Stadium in Ijebu-Ode, overcame Gombe 3-1, thanks to goals from Micah Ojodomo in the 25th minute, Oladayo Alabi (80th) and Elijah Akanni three minutes later. Those strikes made Gombe’s 27th minute goal via Samuel Oyedeji meaningless.
Second placed Plateau United had a tough task at hand in Jos. Rangers are in town to consolidate on third spot and play in the continent next season, as well as make up for losing the first leg of this tie 0-1 in Nnewi.
Both sides are separated by six points, which means that the Tin City team will remain at the same spot regardless of the outcome of their game. But the same cannot be said of Rangers, who are being pursued by Remo Stars.
Rangers head coach, Abdul Maikaba assured the fans that his wards have their sights at the maximum points. Maikaba will be coming up against his immediate past employers who edged his current club 1-0 in their first meeting earlier in the season in Nnewi.Smarting from a hard fought 1-0 win over Dakkada in last week’ fixture in Awka, the Flying Antelopes whose first round away form is still to be matched in the second stanza, are boosted by the return from injury of mercurial midfielder, Ugochukwu Ugwuoke, defence lynchpin, Tope Olusesi, and attacking sensation, Chinonso Eziekwe.
Third on the log, Rangers will also be counting on experienced attacking duo of Elijah Ani and top-scorer, Ossy Martins to get the needed goals, while trusting the backline ably led by Uche John and Ernest Governor.
Result: MFM 3-1 Gombe United
Other fixtures today: Plateau United v Rangers, Dakkada FC v Rivers United, Heartland v Shooting Stars, Kwara United v Akwa United, Niger Tornadoes v Lobi Stars, Remo Stars v Kano Pillars, Enyimba v Nasarawa United, Sunshine Stars v Katsina United (all 4 pm)
Sunday’s game: Wikki Tourists v Abia Warriors (4 pm)
Additional reporting by Rivers and Rangers Media