First half strikes from Ishaq Rafiu Kayode and Chiamaka Madu marked the difference as Enyimba lost to Rivers United at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium on Monday.
The People’s Elephant looked to be in the hunt for consistency after Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Rangers International ensured a double against their eastern rivals, and FInidi George listed an offensive lineup, naming Emeka Obioma and club top scorer Victor Mbaoma in the starting squad.
Emmanuel Ampiah returned at left back after sitting out of the last three fixtures while Djeri Bassa kept his place in goal, his second start in as many matches.
After a scrappy start, Enyimba’s defensive resolve was broken in the 18th minute when Ishaq Rafiu fired in a penalty after being hacked down in the box by captain Austin Oladapo.
The hosts made it two fifteen minutes later, Chiama Madu benefitting from a sturdy hold up by Nyima Nwagua to tap into the left corner.
With a mountain to climb in the second half, Finidi brought on Samuel Stone and Gabriel Orok, and the duo provided the much-needed spark in Enyimba’s pursuit of a comeback.
Stone, in particular, proved to be instrumental as his measured pass to Mbaoma was only kept out by the heroics of the Rivers United goalkeeper, Victor Sochima.
Enyimba’s push for a comeback was intensified by the introductions of Cyril Olisema and Farouk Mohammed, but there was hardly any way back, eventually, as the hosts held on tightly to their first half goals.