The Solid Miners failed to recover from their narrow 2-1 painful away loss to Rivers United during the weekend in Port-Harcourt as they were forced to a 1-1 draw by hard-fighting Kwara United in the Nigeria Professional Football League matchday sixteen clash at the Lafia City Stadium on Wednesday.
The regional derby match got off to a high note with the home side showing early glimpses in front of goal, with Uche Ihuarulam 2nd minute goal disallowed after the referee spotted an infringement on a Kwara player.
But it was the Harmony Boys that opened scoring against the run of play through Alao Danbani in the 23rd minute of the first-half after some beautiful play that saw Kabiru Balogun freeing him up.
The visitors held on to the slim lead going into the interval.
After receiving some pep talks in the dressing room, United returned for the second half looking dangerous up front. Aliyu Abdullahi meandered his way through the traffic before finding freestanding Bashir Usman only for the latter to miss a sitter to the disappointment of the home fans.
Moments later, Michael Tochukwu powered a shot from 30 yards but got denied by the cross bar.
But the prodigy wouldn’t be unlucky for the second time as he struck a sublime after being teed up by Abubakar Abdullahi, to draw level in the 64th minute, his fifth goal of the Season, while it was the right-back’s fourth assist of the campaign.
Jide Fatokun and Shammasu Mohammed both had chances for their teams respectively, but none caused any havoc.
The result pegs the Solid Miners in 11th position with twenty-one points, and would be on the road for a date with 12th-placed, Oluyole Warriors, Shooting Stars Sport Club of Ibadan in Oyo State, on Sunday.
*Coach Abubakar Arikya(NAS)*: “A lot of things went wrong in this game; firstly, there was laxity on the side of our boys, secondly, we allowed the opponents to score first which put us under pressure, and finally, we failed to convert the myriads of chances we had.
“However, that’s football for you. We will work to correct some of those costly mistakes in our subsequent games.
“Yeah, a lot of people might be right by saying we aren’t doing well this season, but I must tell you, we have a good team, just what is lacking for us is that dint of luck, and this Season looks somewhat difficult for us.
“But as we approach the second phase of the league, we would make some adjustments in areas we have weaknesses so that we can we can weather the storm.
“Our opponents today played very well and to instructions, too.
“We thank God for the point we got, nonetheless.”
*Coach Abdullahi Biffo(KWA)*: “I give it to the boys whose efforts paid off as we are not returning empty handed.
“The home side came back stronger after conceding in the first-half and they got the equaliser, and almost got the three points but for the resilience of my boys.
“We will next face MFM in Lagos where we hope to get a nice result there as well.”
(Yellow 🟨 Card):
*NASARAWA UNITED LINE-UP*: Danlami Umar, Abubakar Abdullahi, Ugochukwu Gabriel(Manga Mohammed 53′) Victor Collins, Ini Edem, Aliyu Abdullahi, Moyi Hassan(Bashir Usman 53′), Chidera Nduka, Michael Tochukwu, Uche Ihuarulam(Tolulope Oluwole 68′), Chijioke Alaekwe(Shammasu Mohammed 53′)
*UNUSED SUBS*: Mustapha Danjuma, Afeez Bankole, Paul Odeh, Dauda Maigishiri.