Guy Kuemian netted a first half brace to power Rivers United past a lacklustre Kaduna United side 4-0 in a largely one-sided round of 32 Federation Cup game on Wednesday.
Onyekachi Okafor and Chinonso Okonkwo scored spectacular goals in the second half to complete a good day in the office for Stanley Eguma’s charges who now march into the round of 16 on the back of a brilliant win.
Kaduna United came into the fixture in boisterous mood having won two and drawn one of their three opening games in this season’s Nigeria National League (NNL).
They started well against Rivers United at the Aper Aku Stadium, bossing possession and carving open the Festus Austin-led defence at will in the early stages of the contest.
Nura Abubakar, Sunday Alasco and particularly Gabriel Okoroko all came close inside the opening quarter hour but profligacy let them down.
They were ruthlessly punished for those missed opportunities as Rivers United took the lead in the 20th minute with their first meaningful attack of the day.
Kuemian chased down a delightful through ball from Okonkwo before calmly slotting past the Kaduna United goalkeeper, Walbe David.
Bernard Ovoke almost doubled Rivers United’s lead in the 23rd minute but watched in agony as David pushed his brilliant free kick from the edge of the penalty area away for a corner as the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side cranked up the pressure.
Kaduna United attempted a fight back and thought they had restored parity in the 27thminute when Okoriko headed past Rotimi from a free kick but the effort was ruled out for offside.
That was the closest the NNL side came to scoring as Rivers United went on a blitz of attacking football of deadly efficiency.
Kuemian completed his brace in accomplished fashion, five minutes before the break after some outrageous bit of wizardry from Ovoke who left no less than three markers for dead with nimble footwork before squaring for the unmarked Ivoirian to slot home from the edge of the box.
Second half substitute, Onyekachi Okafor made it 3-0 with a stupendous finish, four minutes after the restart, following exemplary work down the left hand channel by impressive left back, Chiwendu Ali.
Okonkwo scored the goal of the game, a 25 yard rocket that left David with no chance, after he was played in brilliantly by substitute, Best Deemua in the 65th minute.
After the game, the Kaduna United head coach, Emmanuel Okpula offered his post-match reactions to newsmen
“Rivers United is a powerful team with a great attack.
“They hold on to the ball very well and they are very fast,” he said.
Eguma also voiced his sentiments after a performance that exemplified near perfection.
“It was a difficult game irrespective of the margin of victory.
“I expected a very tough game because Kaduna United played in the (top flight of Nigerian football) very recently.
“We had a difficult start to the game but we played better in the second half.
“The goals have started coming for us because the team is beginning to gel,” he said.
Rivers United have now scored eight goals in their two Federation Cup games this year having defeated Papilo FC 4-3 in the round of 64.