Bayelsa United yesterday fought back to earn a 2-2 draw with title holders Rivers United in the rescheduled Match Day 7 fixture of the 2022/23 abridged Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) season.
The defending champions had come into the match at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa brimming with confidence after their emphatic 3-0 win over ASEC Mimosa in the CAF Confederation Cup on Sunday.
At the start of the match, both sides created a couple of chances but it was Chiamaka Madu who brilliantly finished off a team attacking move to open the scoring for the visitors in the 35th minute as the first half ended 1-0.
However, six minutes into the second half, Daniel Ekpo restored parity for the hosts but Malachi Ohawume put Rivers United in the lead again in the 66th minute when he finished off a move he had started.
The ‘Pride of Rivers’ then played cautiously and attempted to run down the clock with the intention of annexing the maximum points.
But a minute into second half stoppage time, Bayelsa United’s leading goalscorer, Robert Mizo, scored the much needed equaliser to secure a point for the home side.
Rivers United are now third with 14 points, with two outstanding matches while Bayelsa United are 8th with eight points from Nine matches in Group B.
In the other rescheduled Week Nine match, El-Kanemi Warriors fell 2-1 at home to fellow strugglers, Kwara United.
El-Kanemi Warriors who are struggling to cope with life in the Nigerian topflight got off to a good start with David Nnaji’s 20th minute goal.
The host held tightly onto their lead but the ‘Afonja Warriors’ came into the game in the 61st minute through Jide Fatokun who made it 1-1.
In the 71st minute, Godwin Oshagbemi completed the comeback as Kwara United secured their second win to move slightly away from the drop zone.
Meanwhile, El-Kanemi Warriors with only one win since the start of the abridged season are last on Group A table with five points.