Martins Usule’s late goal was all Katsina United needed to clinch three crucial points courtesy of a 2-1 home win over Rivers United in an NPFL match day 16 encounter decided at the magnificent Muhammadu Dikko Stadium in Katsina.
The game lived up to its billing with both teams displaying good football artistry to the delight of the fans in the stadium.
Katsina United came at the visitors like a house on fire as Obinna Eleje found the back of the net with a screamer off Destiny Ashadi’s assist to give the hosts an early lead.
Eleje could have doubled Katsina United advantage from a close range after Tasiu Lawal’s pass had beaten the goalkeeper but he somehow missed the golden opportunity.
Emeka Ogbuh would later capitalise on the shaky defence of Katsina United as he dribbled past three defenders before sending a low strike past Dami Paul to restore parity.
Destiny Ashadi ochestrated the midfield with crisp passes to give his team balance in the middle of the park.
‘The Changi Boys’ fought and came close severally but could not break the resolute defence of Rivers United as the first half ended 1 – 1.
It was a ding-dong affair in the second half as both teams played with caution and created a lot of scoring chances.
Agboola’s goal-bound free kick from the edge of the box on 53 minutes was parried to safety by Emeka Nwabulu to keep his team in the game.
Ashadi also came close on 59 minutes with a long-range drive and he was also denied by the brilliant Nwabulu, who was lively throughout the game.
Coach Abdullahi Biffo then threw Eric Dufegha and Musa Suleman into fray to beef up his attack and the substitutions paid up in the 78 minutes when Man of the Match Usule powered a brilliant header past Nwabulu off a clever cross by Usman Barau to give his team the all-important lead.
The visitors fought back in search of the equaliser, but were repelled as Katsina United ran away with all the three points
The Changi Boys have now taken their unbeaten home record to 27 after this vital victory over ‘The Pride of Rivers’.
With this result, Katsina United have now shot to fourth on the league table with 23 points from 16 games, while Rivers United dropped to 13th with 20 points after 15 games.
Coach Biffo told www.fckatsinaunited.com that this was the toughest game he has ever played at home.
“It was a very difficult game for us,” he admitted.
“In fact this is the most difficult game we have played at home. It was a difficult game, but thank God we won, that is the most important thing.
“We have now put that game behind us and attention will now be on our next game which is going to be against Abia Warriors. Rivers’ match have come and gone.
“We will continue to work hard to make sure that we achieve our targets for the season.”