Champions Shield: Bayelsa Queens Down Rivers Angels In Season Curtain Raiser

Bayelsa Queens have won the 2019 Nigeria Women Premier League (NWPL) Champions Shield after the reigning league champions saw off 2018 Aiteo Cup winners Rivers United 2-0 at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa on Saturday.

Uzoamaka Igwe’s sumptuous 43rd-minute freekick eluded goalkeeper Charity John to put Queens ahead before veteran Lucky Odiri profited from a goalmouth scramble in Angels’ box to bundle home for Queens in the 80th minute.

Rivers Angels started the brighter of both sides and thought they’d taken the lead when Blessing Okpe scored in the 8th minute, but the forward who was impressive throughout the encounter was adjudged offside.

The Cup champions had the League champions under the cosh in the opening half-hour with Vivian Ikechukwu, Yetunde Adeboyejo, Ibinabo Georgewill and Okpe all going close.

Ikechukwu missed a glorious opportunity to put Angels in front in the 35th before Igwe punished her profligacy with a sweetly struck set-piece to put Queens in front at the break.

Rivers Angels piled on the pressure at the restart and Ikechukwu saw her shot ricochet off the bar after it took a deflection from an opposition defender.

But despite their pressure, it was Queens who struck again ten minutes from time after Odiri bundled home after a goal-mouth scramble following a spectacular save from Charity John.

The league champions held on in the remaining minutes to emerge winners of the traditional season opener.