Rivers United on Wednesday was stopped in their tracks as they shared the spoils with Bayelsa United in a South-South derby in the rescheduled Match Day 7 of the 2022/23 abridged Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL)
The defending champions had come into the game at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa Bayelsa State brimming with confidence after their empathic 3-0 win over ASEC Mimosa in the CAF Confederation Cup on Sunday.
Both sides created chances to score but it was Chiamaka Madu who brilliantly finished off a team-attacking move to open the scoring in the 35th minute as the first half ended 1-0.
Six minutes into the second half, Daniel Ekpo restored parity for the hosts to make it 1-1. In the 66th minute, Malachi Ohawume finished off a move he started with Mark Gibson Theo giving the assist to make it 2-1.
The Pride of Rivers played cautiously as they attempted to run down the clock as they hoped to earn all maximum points.
However, their plans were not in tandem with their hosts who were not willing to lose the derby. One minute into the added time, Robert Mizo broke their visitors’ hearts to secure a point at least to move away from the relegation zone.
Rivers United are third with 14 points with two outstanding games while Bayelsa United are 8th with 8 points from 9 games in Group B.
In the same vein, El-Kanemi Warriors fell 2-1 to visiting Kwara United at the El-Kanemi Warriors Sports Centre.
The hosts who are now winless in their last 9 games got to a good start with David Nnaji’s 20th minute as they battled to earn their second league win.
They held on this lead but the Afonja Warriors came into the game in the 61st minute through Jide Fatokun to make it 1-1.
In the 71st minute, Godwin Oshagbemi completed the comeback as they secured their second league win to move out of the relegation zone.
It became the second win for the Ilorin club this season, following a difficult start that had seen them previously manage just a win, four defeats and three draws.
The victory also means that Kwara United – since the appointment of Kabiru Dogo earlier in February, have failed to lose any of their last two matches.