Rivers United has emerged winner of the just-concluded 2016 annual Shehu Dikko pre-season tournament in Kaduna.
The ‘Pride of Rivers’ beat Mutunchi Academy 3-2 and also overpowered Nasara FC 5-1 on the final day of the competition to emerge champions with 14 points from six matches.
Shekarau Babes, KJ United, Albatex FC, Kaduna United and Wikki Tourists were the other sides that took part in the pre-season tournament in Kaduna.
United won four and drew two of their games, remaining unbeaten in a pre-season campaign that kicked off on November 1.
Technical manager of the Port Harcourt club, Stanley Eguma expressed satisfaction at his team’s display in the tournament but warned supporters of the club not to ‘get carried away by the good results’.
“I am satisfied with the hard work we have put in so far but nobody should get carried away because we are just in pre-season.
“The objective was never to win all our matches or the tournament.
“Of course, winning is a bonus that we cannot reject but the objective is to get the boys fit and integrate the new players into the team and help them embrace our philosophy,” Eguma said.
Rivers United will next head to Enugu to compete in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Super 4.
Rivers United will face three other top NPFL sides, Enugu Rangers, Wikki Tourists and FC Ifeanyiubah in Nigeria’s biggest pre-season tournament which gets underway on December 7.
Captain, Festus Austin said they will be looking to claim the title in Enugu.
“The objective this season is to win everything, irrespective of how big or small people see the competition.
“I believe we will win the Super 4 title,” he said.
A spectacular second half strike by Emeka Ogbugh proved decisive as Rivers United subdued Shekarau Babes 1-0 in a fiercely-competed opening game at the 2016 Shehu Dikko Annual pre-season tournament in Kaduna on Thursday.
Goal scoring opportunities were at a premium in both halves with the two sides appearing evenly matched for most parts but a moment of quality, 20 minutes from the end settled matters at the Kaduna Township Stadium.