By Rachael Ugiagbe
Defending champions Rivers Angels suffered their first defeat of the 2016-17 Nigeria Women Premier League season with a 2-1 loss to Bayelsa Queens on Thursday at the Nembe City Stadium.
Goals from midfielders Joy Bokiri and Osas Igbinovia were all Bayelsa Queens needed to claim the bragging rights; while Cecilia Nku halved the scores for the visitors, who saw their unbeaten run halted.
The win sees the Restoration Girls move to the top of Group A table with 13 points, one ahead of Rivers Angels, after eight round of matches played.
Elsewhere, Adamawa Queens narrowly beat Confluence Queens 1-0 at the Fufore City Stadium courtesy of Regina Omede’s 63rd minute strike.
In an encounter largely dominated by the hosts, Dorshima Tarnu nearly opened the scoring from close range but she blasted her effort off the target.
The visitors were kept at bay, with the pair of Tarnu and Omede constantly threatening the opposing defence and forcing keeper Vincent Mercy to make important saves.
Confluence had a call for a penalty turned down by referee after Rahmat Abdulkareem who dribbled past goalkeeper Asebe Adamu was fouled in the 18-yard box by her markers.
Abdulkareem came close to finding the net for her side before the break, but she could not make the best of her chance from a goal mouth scramble and both teams settled for a goalless affair at half time.
Soon after the break, the ever-busy Abdulkareem was left wondering when her beautiful taken shot hit the goal post to the amazement of the crowd.
Moments later, the hosts grabbed the opening goal through Omede who calmly slotted the ball home from a tight angle to put Adamawa Queens ahead.
Substitute Ifeoma Polinus thought she had won a penalty for the Kogi Ladies after being hacked down in the box but no spot kick was given and the hosts guarded their lead till the full time whistle.