Rivers Angels retain 100% win record

Rivers Angels. Pic from www.sl10.ng
By Queen John

A goal in each half handed Rivers Angels a 2-0 victory over Nasarawa Amazons at the Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt on Saturday in the Nigeria Professional Women League.

It was a close encounter between the two sides with no clear cut chances created in the early stages of the game with much of the battle in the middle of the pack.

Last season’s top scorer, Amarachi Orjinma was deprived of space in the heart of the visiting team’s defense as she was closely marked by captain of the side, Emenayo Ugochi who did a good job with a lot of credit to her keeping Orjinma quiet throughout the first half.

With few minutes to the break, Orjinma dropped deep to head a cross from the left which found Mercy Amanze who made up for her countless misses to left foot a shot into the top corner of the box.

The champions went into the break with a 1-0 lead, leaving the 2013 NWPL champions disappointed after frustrating their opponents with a disciplined defense in the first half.

It was all fireworks in the beginning of the second half from both sides.  Stand-in Falcons striker, Osinachi Ohale who was deployed from Abuja for the game made her presence felt protecting the back four away from her usual position thereby providing stability to a shaky midfield.

In the 55th minute, Ohale continued her spectacular work rate from the midfield and she found Ijeoma Obi who threaded a cross to Orjinma to slot home but she was brought down, winning a penalty for her side.

3mins later, Ijeoma Obi with a brace in the last league game against Capital City Doves converted the spot kick and handed the Port Harcourt side what eventually was the winner of the game.

The visitors had an opportunity of getting back into the game after a double substitution by coach Michael Olaoye but the changes never mattered after all.

In the 77th minute, Onyekachi Stella who came off the bench tried to give the Lafia side some hope after she pounced on a loose pass from a sloppy Angels’ defense but Charity John who was in goal saved it although it slipped away from her but Ulunma Jerome was quick to clear away from danger.

Charity John was once again called to duty with eight minutes to the end from a well taken free kick from captain of the lafia side Emenayo Ugochi but she was able to stop the visitors from getting a consolation goal thereby keeping a record of 2 clean sheets in two games.

Coach delighted with win

After the game, assistant coach of Rivers Angels Whyte Ogbonda was delighted for the victory.

“The girls tried very well because playing against a team like Nasarawa Amazons is not easy.

Remember, they are one of the female champions but beating them and when you consider that most of our girls are in the national team I think the girls tried today,” said Ogbonda.

Ogbonda also lauded the performance of stand in captain of Super Falcons, Osinachi Ohale.

“It was because of today’s game they made her come in because our middle is very porous and since the Nigeria football federation refused to release most of our girls we had to get Osi and I think she contributed a lot to the team, Ogbonda continued.”

Super Falcon happy to contribute

Rivers Angels defender, Osinachi Ohale was happy to contribute her quota to the success of the game.

‘I think they needed me to play for them though I had fatigue but I still contributed to the victory today,”

She further added, we have so many players in the national team that can play in other wings if they had been here today, the goal line would have been more than what we had today, Ohale said.”

Also available for the game was Edwin Okon who doubles as the Super Falcons coach and Rivers Angels coach.

Ogbonda feels his presence spurred the girls to victory against the Lafia girls.

“Definitely it contributed don’t forget he is the technical adviser of the team at least his presence today went a long way to spur the girls to a high level performance because everyone would love to be in the national team so they had to impress him and today, being the first time he is watching them play a league match since we recruited some of them to Rivers Angels,” Ogbonda concluded.

Nasarawa Amazons coach, Michael Oluwaseyi Olaoye was disappointed with the result.

“We played very well but we created chances we could not convert. We had two lapses in the defense, one from the goal keeper and the other from the defenders and they got the two goals and that is football because mistakes make the game.

“I am disappointed because we came for a win but it didn’t happen. We had our chances we could not utilize them to end the game at 2-2. When we go back home, we will return to the drawing board,” Olaoye said.

Olaoye however disagreed that the presence of the Rivers Angels players on national assignment would have done more damage to his side.

“I don’t think so we played better we had our chance they had theirs which they converted but we couldn’t convert ours and that’s football. Football is a game of chances,” said Olaoye.

Rivers Angels next play Taraba Queens on Saturday, May 23 in Jalingo.

OTHER WEEK 3 RESULTS
GROUP A
Delta Queens 2-0 FC Robo
Adamawa Queens 1-0 Confluence Queens
Osun Babes 3-0 Bayelsa Queens (WO)
Ibom Queens 4-0 Martins White Doves

GROUP B
Edo Queens 3-0 FC Taraba Queens (WO)
Rivers Angels 2-0 Nasarawa Amazons

Sunshine Queens 3-0 Pelican Stars (WO)
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