NPFL: Niger Tornadoes Maintain Home Unbeaten Run After Win Over Gombe United

NPFL: Niger Tornadoes Maintain Home Unbeaten Run After Win Over Gombe United

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By Alhassan Mohammed

As the 2022 Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL season continue to gather momentum with 10 matches left to play, ten-man Niger Tornadoes Beat Gombe United on Saturday to sustains their home invincibility record after a feisty encounter in Kaduna.

The matchday 28 encounter decided at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium Kaduna, was a well fought battle between two technically disciplined and highly organized teams.

What looked like a goal feast opening minutes ended in a slim win for the Ikon Allah Boys.

The hosts could have easily gone in front, barely a minute into the contest, when Jacob John hit the upper side of the post after been fed by Jonas Emmanuel, but were out of luck.

Another chance surfaced for the home team in the third minute of the encounter, when Lukman Mohammed’s well taken corner kick was nodded in, off a goal mouth melee, ball crossed line, before a Gombe United player cleared it. The lines man flag stayed down as the referee waved play on. The hosts felt hard done by, as what looked like a legitimate goal was overlooked.

Tornadoes continued to search for an early goal as Abiodun Adebayo fired a thunderous free kick that sailed over the bar after a foul on Munir Idris in the twelfth minute.

A sustained pressure paid off, when Abiodun Adebayo who completely assumed set piece duties with another free kick, that resulted to a goal, after a goal mouth scramble. Munir Idris hit goalkeeper Itodor Akor with the ball inside the six yards box, before it was deflected in by a Gombe United player into his own net, to put the hosts in the lead in the seventeenth minute.

The visitors had their own attempt at goal when George Michael was forced to make a great save off Abiodun Adebayo’s misplaced clearance, twenty fifth minutes on the clock.

Few minutes after the half hour mark, Munir Idris, in an attempt to get to the ball, collided with his opponent and was stretched off, and shortly after, he could not to continue with the game, and was replaced by David Emmanuel.

Ahmadu Liman and Jimmy Abdul combined well inside the box but Itodo Apor in goal for the visitors posed a great save to keep the scoreline.

Shortly before the break Yusuf Abdulazeez was presented with a chance to put the visitors level, after rounding Gabriel Wassa but his effort went high.

It became an end to end affair in the opening exchanges after the game had restarted

The hosts came close to increasing the tally when David Emmanuel square played Jonas Emmanuel inside the box, but goalkeeper Itodo stretched to pull a great save with sixty minutes on the clock.

With Munir Idris forced off in the first half, the worst happened again, when Lukman Mohammed was sent off for retaliation, after a foul had been awarded in his favor by the centre referee with twenty five minutes left to play.

Despite being a man down the hosts continued to dictate the game. Ahmadu Liman came close, but was denied by Itodor’s heroic.

As the game wears on, with pressure mounting, the hosts made a tactical switch, introducing Bolaji Adeyemo for Gabriel Wassa.

A game of defensive master class, by both teams, was brought to a halt, by the centre referee, when he signalled the end of the encounter, as the hosts ran away with a slim win.

In his post match briefing, excited Niger Tornadoes Coach, Bala Mohammed, expressed delight over the victory, saying, it was a good feeling to see his team sustain the home unbeaten run.

He Added that the technical crew is leaving no stone unturned towards ensuring that the team keeps the momentum and continue improving, especially on goal scoring aspect.

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