Gabriel Olalekan struck just before the half hour to give Rivers United a 1-0 win over Wikki Tourists in a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clash in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
United were without captain, Festus Austin and right back, Chigozie Ihunda who missed out due to suspension and injury respectively.
It however did not deter the hosts from dictating the play and dominating possession in the opening stages of the contest decided at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt.
In a first half of very few clear-cut chances, United scored the winner via a set piece delivered by Bernard Ovoke with Olalekan rising highest to head home from close range.
It turned out to be the winning goal of the game with United now winning three games on the spin for the first time this season.
Technical manager, Stanley Eguma was full of praises for his charges after the win.
“Missing out on the services of Austin and Ihunda made the game very difficult for us. The captain has been very inspirational for us.
“However, we had to show a lot of maturity and character in the game and that gave us the win,” Eguma told Rivers United Media.
The Wikki Tourists coach, Abdul Maikaba on his part, praised United for the win but identified the failure of his players to recover from the setback of conceding in the first half as one of the main reasons for the defeat.
“We started the game well but conceding that goal demoralized my players.
“But take nothing away from Rivers United because they are a very good side,” he said.
The win on Wednesday moves Rivers United from sixth to second on the NPFL standings with 28 points from 16 matches.
Wikki dropped from fourth to sixth on the log with 25 points from 15 matches.