Rivers United came from a goal down to hammer MFM FC 4-1 in an exciting Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) game decided on Sunday.
MFM FC took a surprise lead on the half hour with their first goal attempt of the match.
Exceptional work by Chukwuka Emmanuel freed Austin Ogunye who displayed remarkable composure to curl past Sunday Rotimi in the Rivers United goal.
It was the first time an opposition player would be scoring against United in Port Harcourt but like a wounded animal, the ‘Pride of Rivers’ responded within a minute of going behind.
Guy Kuemian was on hand to turn home an Ofem Inah cross to restore parity and calm frayed nerves among the home faithful.
Eight minutes later, United were 2-1 up as pin-up boy Bernard Ovoke headed home following a cross from the far side.
The home side began the second half on the front foot and got their due reward on 66 minutes.
Ovoke whipped in a powerful free kick from the left and MFM goalkeeper Folarin Abayomi spilled the effort at the feet of a grateful Kuemian who was left with the simple task of passing the ball into an unguarded net from two yards out.
MFM were reeling and smelling blood, United honed in for the kill and remarkably claimed a fourth goal two minutes later against shell-shocked opposition.
Chinonso Okonkwo did great work down the flank after he was fed by Ovoke with unheralded midfielder Yusuf Jaiyeola sweeping home from close range.
MFM head coach Fidelis Ilechukwu appeared sober at the full-time whistle, describing the loss as ‘a big shame’.
“To lose like this today is a big shame but Rivers United is a very good team.
“They have very good players who can destroy any team. They were too skilful and too powerful for us today.
“This Rivers United team will go places,” Ilechukwu told supersport.com after the game.
Stanley Eguma, Rivers United’s technical manager, also took the time to discuss the performance of his charges and the implications of the big win.
“The MFM side was very compact and capitalised on counter attacks. That was how they scored their only goal of the game.
“The turning point of the game was scoring immediately after they scored. It was a good game and an important win,” he said.
Rivers United have now moved to second on the NPFL standings with 38 points from 21 matches, same as the leaders Wikki Tourists who have a healthier goals difference.
MFM FC drop to eighth place with 30 points from 20 matches.