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VIDEO: Koka scores winner in Rio Ave victory
Ahmed Hassan ‘Koka’ came off the bench and scored the winner as Rio Ave brought to an end their two month winless run in the Liga against Penafiel.
Rio Ave were without a league win since the 1st of September prior to this evening’s game, and pressure was starting to mount on the side who were one of the most impressive to watch throughout the first 3-4 rounds of the campaign.
Rio Ave took a two-goal lead in the first half thanks to goals from Ukra, and a fine individual goal from Diego Lopes, but Penafiel pulled a one back right on the stroke of half-time through their captain, Hélder Ferreira, after some poor defending by the home side.
Koka came on as a substitute for Diego Lopes just after the hour mark. Penafiel were starting to look even more dangerous on the counter, and Rio Ave needed fresh legs up front to cause problems of their own.
Penafiel would level the score at 2-2 twenty minutes into the second half, after Gouano conceded a penalty, which Guedes converted. But Rio Ave would respond in style; Koka controlled Del Valle’s pass with his chest, before unleashing a volley past Haghighi in the Penafiel goal just two minutes after the equaliser.
This goal – Koka’s first since August – brings the Egyptian’s tally for the season to five goals, and it’ll be a huge weight off his shoulders, after a long period of inconsistency during which he lost his starting place in the team.
Rio Ave 3-2 Penafiel is how it ended; a much-needed win for the home side, who move up to fifth place in the Primeira Liga standings.
On Friday evening, Rio Ave travel to the Estadio da Luz to play Benfica.