Abdallah Shines As Nasarawa United, MFM Share Points In Lagos
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By Eche Amos
Nasarawa United held hosts, MFM FC, to a goalless draw at the Soccer Temple, Agege, Lagos, on Wednesday(New Year’s Day) in an NPFL rescheduled matchday eleven fixture that saw prodigy, Abdallah Mohammed, voted Man-of-the-Match, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report
United started the game brightly with Tayo Fabiyi’s effort on goal parried into corner kick by goalkeeper, Folarin Abayomi, after being released by Abdallah Mohammed, just two minutes into the first-half.
Anas Yusuf’s corner kick found a free-standing Esosa Igbinoba who blasted a volley straight into a crowded defence.
Eight minutes later, Fabiyi was in action again with a long range that beat everyone except the goalkeeper who was alert to punch to safety, following a delightful pass courtesy of Abdallah from the middle of the pack.
Nasarawa United’s goalkeeper, Danlami Umar, was called to action in the 11th minute when he punched an MFM freekick into corner kick, before being forced to another save two minutes later.
The telepathy between Esosa and Fabiyi almost put Nasarawa in the lead in the 24th minute after the former found the latter with an excellent pass in the box only for his last touch to be cleared into corner kick to douse tension on the hosts.
Abdallah took precedence of the midfield as his one-two pass found team-mate, Abubakar Lawal who freed Anas Yusuf in the box only for the lone MFM defender available to come to the rescue with an ankle-twisting clearance, before the whistle sounded, ending the first-half in a goalless stalemate.
Returning from the break, MFM began to dictate the pace of the game as goalkeeper, Danlami Umar, was forced into a save that would require the attention of the medical team after overstretching his limit.
The pressure kept mounting on Nasarawa United’s half as the quartet of defensive block, Manga Mohammed, Moses Tsehuan, Maiyaki Ismaila and Ibrahim Matthew, curtailed every threatening move on goal by the hosts, with the support of box-to-box holding midfielder, Victor Okoro.
Five minutes after replacing Esosa Igbinoba, Maigishiri Dauda’s wonder header from a tight angle was heading into an empty net after the goalkeeper left his post but for the swift goalline clearance by his team-mate who would later be stretched out due to injuries sustained while saving the ball from entering into his own net.
Despite further efforts from both sides, none could find the back of the net as they would settle for a goalless draw, the second consecutive for Nasarawa United following similar outcome against Kano Pillars in Lafia.
Youngster, Abdallah Mohammed, was a delight to behold today as he took control of the midfield, with excellent pass accuracy, interceptions, confident controls,and sizzling dribbling skills to the continuous applause of the fans at the Agege Stadium.
Though this is his first experience in topflight football, he is already inkling his name in every game he has played with stellar performance, no wonder he was the fans’ favourite for the man-of-the-match recognition.
It is hoped he continues in this momentum.
COACH ABUBAKAR ARIKYA REACTS
Raking five points from a possible nine, acting Technical Adviser, Abubakar Arikya,who, before the match, was presented with a souvenir by his MFM counterpart, Tony Bolus, said his wads should have won the game, even though he was happy with their showing in Lagos.
“I thank God for the result, but the way we played, we were supposed to win the game.
“We played more of possession football as against the attacking style we played against Kano Pillars in our last game in Lafia”, he told Nasarawa United Media.
On Maigishiri’s wonder header that was cleared off the goalline, the acting Technical Adviser said “I was far away from the goal area, but those who saw it said it was a goal, but the referee said the entire ball didn’t cross the line, which means it was not a goal.”
Coach Arikya added that he was satisfied with the officiating, stressing that there was an improvement on the team’s performance today compared to previous games.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR UNITED?
Nasarawa United are back in action on Sunday, 5th January. They host FC Ifeanyi Ubah on matchday twelve in Lafia and then take on Rivers United in Port-Harcourt three days later, in a midweek clash, before hosting Enugu Rangers in Lafia on Sunday,12th January.