In an effort to bounce back after the disappointing result of last Thursday against Akwa United in Uyo, Nasarawa United welcomed Dakkada FC, another Akwa-Ibom based side, at their new-found Jos International Stadium, Plateau State, in an NPFL week 25 rescheduled match that would see both sides play almost the same amount of games as the rest of the teams in the Nigerian top-flight.
In the opening twelve minutes, the hosts dominated possession which they tried to use to their advantage. Sunday Okereke finding space but fired his effort inches wide.
Moments later, Ikenna Offor would miss two great opportunities in quick succession inside the box.
The away side created creative moments of play and in the process mounted pressure on Sunday Okoh who was making his debut goalkeeping appearance for United.
Sunday Okereke could have opened scoring inside twenty seven minutes but his shot ricocheted against the barrier, earning him a corner kick.
The hosts broke the deadlock slightly outside the half-hour mark after Ohanachom’s header caught the trailing arm of the visitors’ defender with the referee pointing to the spot for a penalty.
Michael Tochukwu stepped up to convert from twelve yards in the 31st minute, sending the Goalkeeper, Thomas Omokhudu, the wrong way for the midfielder’s sixth goal of the campaign.
The Solid Miners nearly made it 2-0 before the interval after Sunday Okereke muscled his way through the barriers before sending a beautiful through pass to freestanding Chinedu Ohanachom but the striker struck the ball over the bar.
The reversed half saw both sides making frantic efforts to alter the scoreline as they both came very close to scoring but it was Michael Tochukwu who was the hero of the evening as his spot kick was enough to earn the Solid Miners the 3 maximum points thereby returning the team to winning ways, a result that sees them leap to 12th position with 32 points from twenty-five matches.
The team will next travel to the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi, Benue State, for a North-Central derby clash against Lobi Stars, on Sunday, 1st May, before returning to engage Plateau United in another North-Central derby a week later.
Thirteen matches are remaining before the current league season comes to an end.
*Coach Bala Nikyu(NAS)*: “Well, we are happy for picking the maximum points today, irrespective of the scoreline.
“What happened last week was quite unfortunate, but that is now gone and we have picked up the challenge and we hope to keep winning.”
*Coach Danlami Umar(DAK)*: “Generally, just like any other match, we all had our equal half – they dominated in the first-half and we took charge of the second-half. Unfortunately, we couldn’t convert our chances.
“Nasarawa United are a big side and well respected in the elite league.
“At times, you have your day and other days, things can go awry.
“Despite the large margin loss to Akwa United last week, the Team is still a formidable force, and you can’t come and just run over it like that because I have known them for quite some time and what they have got.
“We came here with the mindset of getting, at least, a point, but that’s football for you.
“However, we hope to end the season on a good note.”
*Michael Tochukwu(NAS)*: “I feel very ok scoring today which makes it my sixth goal this season.
“All this couldn’t have been possible without the support of my teammates and the coaching staff, and I hope to sustain this scoring tempo to help my team bounce back to their winning paths.
“You will discover we have been dropping points both at home and away from home, but we are hoping all that would be a thing of the past as we continue to fight our way back into the top of log, more so that we still have some number of games to play before the season comes to an end.”
(Yellow 🟨 Card):
*NASARAWA UNITED LINE-UP*: Sunday Okoh, Afeez Bankole(Moyi Hassan 87′), Collins Victor, Ugochukwu Gabriel, Ini Edem, King Osanga(Sarki Ibrahim 82′) Chidera Nduka, Michael Tochukwu, Ikenna Offor(Ifeanyi Benjamin 69′), Chinedu Ohanachom(Shammasu Mohammed 69′), Sunday Okereke(Adamu Hassan 82′).
*UNUSED SUBS*: Mustapha Danjuma, Paul Odeh, Dauda Maigishiri, Bello Abdullahi.