Nasarawa United Improved On League Standings Despite Loss
By Eche Amos
Nasarawa United FC moved from 18th to 17th position on the Nigerian Professional Football League table despite losing 0-1 to Rivers United on Wednesday in the matchday 13 clash at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.
Rivers United were awarded a penalty in the 13th minute of first half when the referee adjudged Manga Mohammed to have handled the ball in his own box.
Ivorian, Bamba Bakary’s eventual spotkick was parried out by goalkeeper, Danlami Umar, but Ossy Martins was quickest to respond as he nodded home the rebound for the Pride of Rivers.
The duo of Esosa Igbinoba and Ikenna Offor came closest to levelling in the 40 and 41st minutes as their shots hit the woodwork and parried into corner kick by Rivers’- goalkeeper, Darlington Ovunda.
A counter-attack by Nasarawa United in the 42nd minute pressured Rivers’ defence into a strong tackle on Anas Yusuf in the box with the Lafia-based club’s players calling for a penalty but waved away by the referee who later awarded a yellow card to Tayo Fabiyi for overreacting.
However the 0-1 scoreline, Nasarawa United moved from their previous 18th position on the league log to 17th with ten points, pushing Jigawa Golden Stars and Adamawa United downward on goals difference, while Rangers remain locked down in the bottom with nine points.
In his post-match interview with journalists, Nasarawa United’s Assistant Coach, Samson Keshi Marwa, said Nasarawa United takes solace from the defeat as the team prepares for the tasks ahead.
“We came here actually to pick point(s), either win or draw.
“But you saw for yourselves that there were some clear calls but were waved away.
“Am not the kind of coach that lay emphasis on match officials’mistakes; they are human beings like us. But, at least, you saw it yourselves that we ought to earn point(s) from this game today”, he said.
On Nasarawa United’s next game, Keshi added.
“Yeah, we were supposed to play Enugu Rangers, but that has been shifted by the LMC, and we are now set to play Dakkada FC in Uyo, on Wednesday, next week, and we are planning to pick point(s) there.
“The way we played today, we want to use the same method to play against Dakkada FC, too”.