Rivers United – Match Report vs DC Motema Pembe (09/03/2023)

Rivers United grabbed three important points in Group B of the CAF Confederation Cup and took the lead with 9 points from four games. Against DC Motema Pembe they were in the lead 2-0 after an hour, but then let DCMP get back in the game. The away side scored the 2-1 after 78 minutes, which was missed by the production, but couldn’t get a result. After bringing on some fresh legs Rivers United looked much more solid again and even scored a third goal through Paul Acquah, who completed his perfect hattrick.


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Ukeme Williams

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Nigerian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 12/08/1999
  • Club: Rivers United
  • Career: Bendel Insurance, Wikki Tourists, Akwa United, Mash’al Mubarek, Gombe United
  • Position: Central Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Ukeme Williams started as the right midfielder in Rivers United’s 4-3-3 formation and was usually the most advanced midfielder of the three. This was the case because Rivers’ left back Ampiah played a lot more offensive than their right back Godswill, causing their left central midfielder Onoja to drop back slightly more. Williams is quite a small midfielder, standing at around 1.75m if I had to estimate him, with a pretty athletic build. My main concern with Williams throughout this match was his work rate. He looked very nonchalant at times and very slow in defensive transitions. The gaps between Rivers’ lines were huge at times and Williams was definitely not the only midfielder who wasn’t tracking back enough. The midfielder showed good pace on the first meters, with a decent top speed, but it didn’t look like he could easily pass an opponent purely on pace. He was also outmuscled quite easily at times, mainly in defensive duels where opponents could just easily turn away from him.

Now there were also some very positive things that Williams showed this match. He looked very strong at the ball at his feet and technically looked like the best player on the pitch. Williams’ passing was very good throughout this match and he played a couple of perfectly weighted deep passes. The Nigerian youth international often only needed only one or two touches to progress the play and looked very solid in tight areas. He didn’t often overcomplicate things and made almost everything he did look easy. Williams mostly used his right foot, but showed that he has an okay left foot. He also moved very well in midfield, always trying to be able to receive the ball from his teammate. He also picked up an assist with a great freekick which was headed in by Acquah.

Rating – B1

Ukeme Williams already had a short stint playing outside Nigeria, when he played for Mash’al Mubarek in Uzbekistan. Purely from his qualities on the ball, I would certainly say that he could operate at a higher level, but his work rate defensively and lack of intensity make him too much of a liability in my opinion.


Malachi Ohawume

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Nigerian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 20/01/2002 (According to Transfermarkt he is one year younger)
  • Club: Rivers United
  • Career: Rivers United
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary Position: Left Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

Malachi Ohawume played as the left winger but it was pretty clear that he isn’t a natural on the left. Ohawuma didn’t stay wide very often, but would often play a lot more centrally quite close to striker Nwangwa. The 21-year-old very much has the build of a striker, standing at 1.89m with an athletic build. Ohawume looked very comfortable playing with his back to the goal, holding off opponents, but we didn’t see it that much. He looked very strong, but also was still quite mobile, with decent agility and a bit of explosiveness on the first meters. Now, his pace didn’t look electrifying, but it could surprise a slow centre-back.

Technically Ohawume looked alright. He made some good first touches and showed some decent dribbling technique, although he showed his opponents too much of the ball at times, leading to an easy tackle. When he would keep some width on the left and receive the ball there, he would always cut inside past his opponent. He did this well, but wouldn’t really have a good cross or shot to follow this up and mostly just play a safe pass.

Ohawume had a few opportunities to score. Within one minute his header from inside the box, completely missed direction and another shot in the first half was powerful, but also flew far over the bar.

Rating – B2

Malachi Ohawume looked very awkward on the left, but as a striker there could be some potential there. I would have to watch him play as a 9 though to properly judge him there.


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