Dakkada FC of Uyo had to work their socks out to earn a 2-1 win over visiting Rivers United in a Matchday 14 fixture decided at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo on Sunday.
In a game dominated by the home team in the first and the away team in the second half, Dakkada FC went into the break with a two goals advantage, but needed to defend like Presidential Guards to secure maximum points against a revived Rivers side in the second half.
Despite the return of Aniekan Ekpe and Isaac George from injury and suspension respectively, Coach Caleb Esu, left the duo on the bench and kept faith with ten from the team that lost away at MFM on Wednesday.
The visitors began the day with Cletus Emotan and Temple Emekayi on the bench, handing start to former Super Eagles defender Azuibuike Egwueke, with Festus Austine not listed.
The home side almost went infront inside ten minutes, when Femi Ajayi benefitted from a defensive gap, but could only see his shot from 15 yards glancing inches wide.
The pressure paid off as a minute later, a lovely teamwork carved open the visitors defense, for Moses Effiong to race downwards, before delivering a cross from the flank, much to the delight of Spencer Bassey, whose header got the better of Darlington Ovundu for the opener.
Dakkada kept much of the possession in the remainder of the first half, but there was still time for some drama before the break.
Rivers could have levelled terms on 44 minutes, but Ishaq Rafiu would only waste a glorious opportunity ten yards out. The resultant counter, almost secured the second for Dakkada, but for the carelessness of Ajayi and Effiong, as both failed to capitalize on back to back rebound.
As the visitors were preparing to head for the dugout with a deficit at the end of the first half, Bassey brushed aside his marker, before looping the ball across the face of goal, only for a helpless Egwueke to turn in against his own net, to give the home side a double advantage in the second minute of added time.
Rivers regrouped after the break with the introduction of Malachy Ohawmume, Cletus Emotan and Temple Emekayi, as the trio ensured they had a brilliant second half, pecking Dakkada back to defend.
Hope for a possible comeback rekindled late in the second half, when Harrison Ibukun brought down Malachy inside the penalty spot. Bamba Bakary would only step forward to send goalkeeper Vincent Edafe the wrong way. The home side resisted Rivers’ advances and held on to secure all three points.
The win takes Dakkada FC to 4th place, level on points (23), with Akwa United, who earned a point in Jo’s, with Dakkada having a superior goals advantage. Rivers United drop to 3rd on the log.
Dakkada host Nasarawa United in midweek, while Rivers await the visit of Lobi Stars in Makurdi.
Edafe, Unwana, Obot, Duke, Ibukun, Somiari, Spencer, Eso, Femi, Babalola, Moses
Ovunda, Ihundu, Bakary, Lookman, Odunlami, Egwueke, Ishaq, Gopey, Martins, Weli, Esor
Corners 5-5Shots 10-7On Target 6-4Yellow 0-2Red 0-0Offside 4-5Saves 4-4
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