Rivers United claimed a hard-fought win over visiting Niger Tornadoes at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt to maintain their unbeaten start to the NPFL23 season. The champions won 2-1 at home to the Ikon Allah Boys to hand them their first defeat of the season.
After starting their title defense with a win and draw in the opening two games, Rivers United faced the in-form visitors on their patch. The Pride of Rivers manager Stanley Eguma stuck with the same XI that started the first two games of the season.
Rivers United needed only seven minutes to open the scoring in Port Harcourt as right-back Kazie Enyinnaya was on hand to head home a free-kick delivery from Chiamaka Madu for his first goal of the season.
Niger Tornadoes thought they had equalised eight minutes later when Charles Okafor took advantage of a gaffe from Rivers goalkeeper Seidu Mutawakilu to score from a corner, only for the referee to controversially rule out the goal.
Their equaliser eventually came in the 27th minute through Waheed Adebayo. He stepped up to score from the penalty spot after David Okoromi had been upended in the box.
Rivers United restored their lead and claimed all three points when Super Eagles left-back Ebube Duru fired home a direct free-kick in the 31st minute to the delight of the home fans.
The Pride of Rivers go top of Group B with seven points from three matches while Niger Tornadoes have six points from their opening three matches.