It would always take something extra-ordinary to stop Rivers United at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt. The Pride of Rivers’ home invincibility had seen them win each of their ten home games this term (before Sunday) and conceded just one goal in the process.
However, it was River United’s bogey side Abia Warriors that halted that domineering run on Sunday when they put up a dogged defensive display to earn a deserved point as the MatchDay 22 encounter ended in a 0-0 draw.
Warriors head coach Imama Amapakabo, himself a Rivers ‘boy’ was going to do everything to avoid the ignominious record of having lost home and away against Rivers United this season – the reverse fixture having ended in a 0-1 defeat for his side at the Enyimba Stadium, Aba in January.
The entirety of the Warriors team especially goalkeeper Vincent Edafe and his back four were exceptional on the day but Amapakabo, a former league winner with Rangers, reserved the biggest praise for his teenage right-back Augustine Chimezie Njoku who was solid all through the game.
Amapakabo spoke glowingly about the starlet’s performances this season in a chat to www.npfl.ng
“In my team, I think I have about seven to eight rookies and I tell him (Njoku) all the time, (it is) nothing special, keep your head and play your game and he’s been wonderful.
“He’s had about four to five assists in the league and he has been doing very well,’ said Amapakabo
Chimezie Njoku was only promoted to the first team from the Abia Warriors academy at the start of this season primarily as an understudy to the experienced Innocent Gabriel.
Since making his Warriors debut on MatchDay 15 in their 4-1 win over Kano Pillars (as a second-half replacement for Gabriel), Njoku has made four further starts for Amapakabo’s team and has only been on the losing side once in his five games for the club.
Njoku received a first-half yellow card against Rivers United on Sunday and there were genuine concerns if he could remain level-headed for the remainder of the game, something he did with incredible discipline.
His coach would go on to assert that there is a bright future ahead for the player.
“As I tell him; enjoy yourself, (if) you make a mistake, you are bound to make mistakes and he’s been wonderful so far. (In a) big game like this (against Rivers United), he’s coming in and giving the five-star performance, and kudos to him. It just shows he has a bright future.”
Njoku and his Warriors teammate will hope to ride on the point in Port Harcourt when they face Akwa United on MatchDay 23 in Okigwe midweek.