'Enyimba’s friendly defeat to Rivers United is an eye-opener,’ says Austin Oladapo

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The People’s Elephant midfielder has called on his teammates to learn from their defeat to the Pride of Rivers ahead of the new season

Enyimba’s Austin Oladapo has described their 2-1 loss to Rivers United as an eye opener for the People’s Elephant as they prepare for the start of the Nigeria Professional Football League 2018-19 season.

Oladapo reduced the 2018 Caf Confederation Cup semi-finalists goal deficit in the second half of the game played at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt on Sunday and he went ahead to decree that the defeat would help them to take note of areas they must improve on before they play their first league game of the season.

He said they played very well in the second half but that they actually lost because of their inability to convert some chances they created in the game and the fact that they started poorly against an organized Rivers United side.

“It was a good game nonetheless because we played very well especially in the second half,” Oladapo told Goal.

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“The goal we scored from the penalty spot was bound to happen because we changed the tempo of the game in the second half. Had we started the game the way we played the second half, it would have been difficult for Rivers United to beat us. We are meant to use games like this one to see how far we have progressed.

“We must go back home and make necessary corrections. We must still learn to convert our chances better because we missed many scoring chances in the second half and this led to the defeat. We do not need to be sad but make the necessary changes.”

Enyimba finished fourth in the league season that was stopped after 24 matchdays and also got to the last four of the Caf Confederation Cup before losing to eventual champions, Raja Casablanca of Morocco.