NPFL23: Nasarawa United Suffer Second League Defeats Against El Kanemi Warriors
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By Our Correspondent
Nasarawa United’s campaign in the 2022/2023 Nigeria Premier Football League, NPFL season may not have commenced as planned as the Solid Miners have lost two consecutive matches with newcomers El Kanemi Warriors inflicting them their second woes after a 2-1 win on Thursday in Maiduguri.
Like Rangers International FC of Enugu, Nasarawa United are yet to pick a point in the league after a round of two matches.
On Thursday, Warriors took an early lead against run of play through Igbudu Alpha after his low drive inside the box sped off the grasp of goalkeeper, Ameh Godwin in the 12th minute.
Earlier on, Chinedu Ohanachom had had his shot blocked by the El-Kanemi goal tender, Kehinde Ogundele.
Emmanuel Ogbole almost canceled out the hosts’ lead only for his powerful header to go an inch wide.
Ikenna Offor also came close to netting an equalizer but his shot flashed across the mouth of the goal.
The energetic winger again struck the frame of the cross bar after meandering his way through the traffic.
El-Kanemi’s Richard Jonathan equally missed a sitter after his clever ball went beyond the containment of Goalkeeper, Ameh Godwin.
The goalkeeper displayed a master-class save when he denied Ahmed Mohammed from increasing the home side’s tally, before Emmanuel Ogbole forced a corner kick from his cheeky ball.
El-Kanemi Warriors, however, held on to the slim lead going into the break.
The restart saw the travellers throwing everything at their hosts in search of a leveller. Emmanuel Ogbole’s acrobatic effort from Onuche Ogbelu’s free-kick went slightly off target.
Dayyab Musa fired home an unstoppable free-kick for El-Kanemi Warriors in the 61st minute after a foul by Victor Dennis to take their lead to 2-0.
After coming off the bench, the duo of Anas Yusuf and Adamu Hassan missed two glorious chances to the disappointment of the United’s bench.
Anas’ first shot came with no power behind it while Adamu Hassan had only but an empty net to tap in from Anas Yusuf’s unselfish close range pass inside the six yard only for the former’s soft touch to be cleared off the line.
Defender, Abubakar Abdullahi’s goal off a corner kick was disallowed by the referee, leaving the Solid Miners in search of a breakthrough.
The right full-back would later be sent off the field by the referee for dissent, reducing the visitors to ten men.
United, however, got a consolation but belatedly on the nick of time after young sensation, Onuche Ogbelu, scored a screamer from a 35-yard free-kick.
It was a damaging loss for the Coach Bala Nikyu-tutored side who are now last on the Group ‘A’ table with no points, while the win surged El-Kanemi into 4th position with three points.
The defeats marked the first time in over five seasons that the Solid Miners have lost consecutively two of their first league games.
Coach Bala’s men will return home to host Akwa United who have one point by 2pm on Sunday, 22nd January, in Jos, Plateau State.
The match would be televised live on Nigeria Television Authority, NTA on Startime and DSTV, respectively.