Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt on Saturday defeated visiting Nasarawa United FC 1-0 in spite of being reduced to 10 men.
In the 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) game played at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, midfielder Ayo Saka scored for his team in the 39th minute.
Coach Kabiru Dogo of Nasarawa United said after the game that he never bargained for the loss.
Dogo, however, congratulated Rivers United, saying they deserved the victory.
“I congratulate Rivers United for the victory but this is not what we bargained for, because we prepared well for the game, at least to pick a point.
I understand that we are starting afresh after the break. Our opponents are lucky because they are in a competition on the continent and it helped them today,” he said.
Dogo said he was hopeful his team would pick up from their next match.
“No team will want to lose. Everybody wants result, so we must live up to expectations,” he added.
Coach Stanley Eguma of Rivers United, on his part, thanked God for the victory, saying it was not an easy victory as they laboured hard for it.
Eguma said he was happy that his team did not lose the game and they would go back to the drawing board to put into practice the experience they got from the match.
“I salute the courage of my players for resisting the pressure from their opponents in spite of being one man down during the game.
We are taking every game serious now because the second half of the league is very competitive, and we even use this game as a dress rehearsal for our next continental game,” he said.
Saka, on his part, said he was excited because it was his first game for Rivers United in the (NPFL).
Rivers United’s captain, Festus Austin, received a red card in the 31st minute of the game for handling the ball.
NAN/ Jibril .O