2018 Garden City Preseason : Rivers United beat Abia Warriors in the final

Rivers United have emerged champions of the maiden edition of the Garden City Pre-season football tournament after overcoming Premier league rivals, Abia Warriors of Umuahia 4-2 on penalties in the final decided at the Sharks Football Stadium in Port Harcourt today.


The highly entertaining game left spectators at the edges of their seats for most parts of the encounter as the two regional rivals exchanged soccer lessons but at the end of regulation time it failed to produce any goal as the game went straight into the gamble and lottery of penalty shoot-out where Rivers United triumphed to lift the glittering trophy.

That the game ended goalless was not because of lack of opportunities but rather the inability of strikers of both sides to make hay in front of goal.

On several occasions, Abia Warriors’ Obi Samson, Cyril Uduak and Kola Raimi had the opportunity to punish Emeka Nwabulu in goal for Rivers United but failed to do so while Abia Warriors’ goaltender, Agbor Ekoi literarily only picked some stray balls as Victor Makalala, Malachi Ohawume and Bakari Bamba could not coordinate in front of goal.

It was towards the end of the match that it became more interesting as the two teams tried to avoid penalties but yet, they could not break the deadlock.

What would have been a successful game for the centre referee turned sour towards the end as he sent off Abia Warriors’ defence strongman, Abiodun Adebayo who collected his second yellow card of the match. During the penalty shoot-out, Chinwendu Ali, Oche Ochowecho, Bamba Bakari and John Bello netted for Rivers United while only Emeka Isaac and Ndifreke Effiong could convert their kicks for the Warriors.