It had rained for long hours prior to the COD United Ladies versus Rivers Angels kickoff at the Onikan Stadium, Lagos, on Saturday, but as the match wore on, everyone around began to feel a heated atmosphere with both sides getting one red card apiece as visiting Angels claimed a 2-1 away victory.
Defenders, Mabel Effiom and Ugo Njoku scored in the first half of the game to ensure that Rivers Angels returned to winning ways after suffering back to back losses last week.
Substitute Ikechukwu Vivian pulled a goal back for the hosts three minutes to stoppage time as they strived for at least a point.
It was COD Ladies that actually had the first shot on target but Adeshola Opeyemi’s goal inside the first minute was ruled offside. Almost immediately the pendulum swung to the other end where Ngozi Ebere miscued a glorious chance to put her side in the lead.
In the 10th minute, the lead came after all, and Rivers Angels had their noses in front – a reward for doing most of the talking on the pitch. Ebere curled the first corner of the match into COD’s 18-yard box and Effiom volleyed it beyond goalkeeper Muhammed Ganiyat.
Angels’ Loveth Ayila kept posing a threatening figure down the right while Amarachi Ojinma who wore the captain’s armband used her unbearable speed to keep causing trouble, but the second goal would not come – at least not yet, Ojinma even had a goal disallowed for offside.
Rather it was COD United that almost equalised in the 23rd minute if not for Uju Joseph’s goal line save, after goalkeeper Christy Ohiaeriaku missed her touch.
Monday Gift and Blessing Okpe continued to lead the attack for Ann Chiejine’s charges but they still could not take advantage of some of the mistakes made by Rivers Angels’ defence.
However, shortly after receiving the first booking of the game, Ugo Njoku struck the second goal for Rivers Angels on 39 minutes after Ojinma served her the ball. Onrushing Ganiyat had mistimed the shot.
With Rivers Angels’ leading 2-0 at half time, the second half resumed with much more intensity. Already one of the substitutions Rivers Angels did in the first half was due to injury to Ulunma Jerome.
Like in the first half, COD launched the first attack and it led to Ohiaeriaku needing the services of the medical team. After she was attended to, play continued with Rivers Angels on the break, but Ojinma’s final touch was an easy catch for Ganiyat.
A clash with Agams Nkechi saw Rivers Angels’ Ayila getting the marching order on 66 minutes and four minutes later COD were also reduced to 10 players as Dike Patience was shown a second yellow for an elbow on Juliet Bassey.
United Ladies eventually pulled one back from a goal scramble and it was Vivian Ikechukwu that got the goal off a free kick taken by Okpe Blessing, but all other efforts to get a late equalizer failed and yet again they lost at home.