Nasarawa United Share Spoil With FC International In Pre-season Tournament
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By Eche Amos
The Solid Miners took advantage of their free day at the ongoing Abuja Unity Pre-Season Cup Tournament to engage in a friendly match against FC International at the FIFA Goal Project, Package ‘B’, MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, on Sunday morning.
The highly entertaining and action-packed encounter saw the hosts, FC International, made up of mostly selected players from across different league divisions opening scoring in the 27th minute through Agbonlahom Mustapha after being fed by substitute, Johnson Michael.
Seven minutes later, United rallied back to draw level in a spectacular fashion after Aliyu Abdullahi spinned round his marker inside the area to rocket Dauda Maigishiri’s defence-splitting pass past the goalkeeper, Jatau Michael.
The Coach Bala Nikyu-tutored side pushed harder to increase the tally before the half-time whistle with the trio of Paul Odeh, Silas Nwankwo and Shammasu Mohammed all coming close to scoring, but for the brilliance of the hosts’ goalkeeper, as both sides went into the break with score at 1-1.
Coach Bala Nikyu changed the entire squad that started the first half, introducing new legs upon resumption for the second-half with the pair of Bashiru Usman and Otegbeye Ajibola serving as thorn in the defence of the hosts, and their efforts would paid off in the 86th minute after the former’s well-tailored corner kick was headed home by Ategbeye, to put the visitors on the lead.
With the game heading toward regulation time, FC International poured everything upfront, seeking for an equalizer, but for the defensive prowess of Ini Edem, Martins Owolijah, Bello Abdullahi and Abubakar Abdullahi, coupled with the goalkeeping ingenuity of Danlami Umar.
However, the Coach Kabiru Adeyemi-led side didn’t relent as they fought back to equalize in the 95th minute. Substitute, Kabiru Dahiru tapping in from close range off Michael Johnson’s diagonal cross.
At the closing stages of the game, defender, Stanley Obere, was shown the marching order for decent, reducing the hosts to ten men, but it didn’t reflect in the result as both sides settled for 2-2 draw.
With the recent adjustments to the fixtures of the ongoing Abuja Unity Cup Preseason Tournament, Nasarawa United will wait till Tuesday evening before playing their next Group ‘A’ opponents, FC Mavlon, at the Area 3 Football Pitch, Garki, with former Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Nasarawa State, Hon. Othman Bala Adam, expected to grace the event as Special Guest of Honour.
The Solid Miners will conclude their last group game against Fosla Academy on Wednesday, 3rd November, by ten o’clock in the morning.