NPFL: Lawal’s Brace Helps Nasarawa United To Second Home Win
By Eche Amos
A rejuvenated Nasarawa United side extended their unbeaten run to four as they overcame FC Ifeanyi Ubah 3-2 in the matchday twelve tie of the 2019/2020 Nigerian Professional Football League held at the Lafia City Stadium today.
The hosts took the game to their visitors in the 7th minute when Abubakar Lawal almost put the home side in the lead but for the swift intervention of the goalkeeper, Yusuf Babangida.
Five minutes after, Abubakar Lawal opened scoring from the spot after a player of Ifeayni Ubah handled the ball in the box to put United 1-0 up.
The score remained that way going into the half-time.
Upon resumption, Tayo Fabiyi would give way to Fidelis Junior after feeling unwell, and hardly had he left the field than Nasarawa United would add their second goal of the evening after Esosa Igbinoba lashed unto a delightful pass from Anas Yusuf from the flank in the 46th minute, his first goal of the season.
But the 2-0 advantage barely lasted as Ifeanyi Ubah were awarded a penalty with Maiyaki Ismaila adjudged to have handled the ball in his own box.
Jimoh Gbadamosi converted the spot kick to reduce the deficit to 2-1 in the 52nd minute.
The utility Maiyaki Ismaila made up for his mistake as he was hurled down in the box by Eric Oguocha in an attempt to dribble past the defender.
Again, Abubakar Lawal proved his 100 per cent spot kick record as he blasted the ball into the roof of the net to open a 3-1 lead for United in the 59th minute, his fourth goal of the season.
However, goalkeeper, Danlami Umar, miscalculated his move and the resultant consequence was a penalty and a yellow card after fouling his opponent. And again, Jimoh Gbadamosi scored from the spot to further reduce the tally to 3-2.
Despite two minutes of added time, the scoreline did not change as Nasarawa United won their second home game, garnering ten points, and moving from the bottom of the league table to 18th position.
Incidentally, both teams were finalists in the 2016 Aiteo Federation’s Cup in Lagos where the Nnewi-based side won 5-4 via penalty shootout.
In his post-match reaction, Assistant Coach, Samson Keshi Marwa, said his players used a different pattern in today’s game and reinstated their resolve to maintain the status-quo.
“We changed the pattern of our play. Now, it’s total football.
“When you are playing in the league, you have to play good football so that your fans won’t be bored and the goals will begin to come.
“The players like good football, and that is helping us to get the results.
“Also, the Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, has been so supportive and that is a huge booster to our morale.
“We are rising. It’s said when you play more, you learn more.
“Our next game in Port-Harcourt will not be taken likely. We will continue from where we are now and ensure we pick the available points”, he said
Nasarawa United will be heading to Port-Harcourt to confront Rivers United during the midweek clash before welcoming Enugu Rangers in Lafia on Sunday,12th January.
The team will then play another midweek game against Dakkada FC in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, next week(15th January).
NASARAWA UNITED LINE-UP: Danlami Umar, Ibrahim Matthew, Maiyaki Ismaila, Okoro Victor, Moses Tsehuan, Manga Mohammed, Anas Yusuf, Esosa Igbinoba(Maigishiri Dauda 70′ ), Tayo Fabiyi(Fidelis Junior 45′ ), Abdallah Mohammed Husseini, Abubakar Lawal(Ikenna Ofor 60′ )