NNL: Jerome, Obasesam Score As Kogi United Grind Out Match Points Against FC Zamfara
Kogi United held on to claime maximum points against a stubborn FC Zamfara in one of the Nigeria National League, NNL Matchday Four encounters played in Lokoja on Saturday.
The match played at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja was far cry different what the hosts expected as Zamfara stood their ground to ward most of their efforts at goal.
But the boys from Gusau did not have the nerve to keep United out from getting the maximum points.
Kogi United took the lead in the 26 minutes from the spot through John Jerome after Abubakar Ibrahim upended Victor Tale in the box as he attempted to shoot at goal.
Zamfara’s Okechukwu missed what should have been an equaliser for his side in the 35 minutes. His curling effort rolled past the face of goal after beating United keeper, Salisu Ogbe.
The hosts had a good chance to double their lead when Simon Timothy delivered a long throw into Zamfara’s goal, Omajagun Umoru headed down for Etuk Akanimo who shot into crowded defense before Nyijime Xavier, Zamfara goalkeeper gathered.
With a minute to end the first half, Umoru again gifted with a clear opportunity to double United’s lead but was too quick to shoot which went off target.
FC Zamfara started the second half with more zeal and took the game to their hosts but met a brick wall in United’s defense.
Debutant Umoru was gifted with series of opportunities to put the game to rest for Kogi United but the young lad could not cap his first league start with a goal.
He would then be removed for experienced Obasesam who headed home United’s second goal in the 78 minutes.
The visitors threw all they had left in the last ten minutes of the game at Kogi Unitted, searching for a moment to stage a comeback but what they could get was a consolatory goal at the stroke of time.
Jamilu Akibu took advantage of a slip in United’s defense and took a low drive past Ogbe.
Coach Tunde Abdulrahman of Kogi United who was happy with the victory admitted that it was a tough game for his side who labored for most part of it.
He blamed injury to few keys players as result of their dip in performance but promised that the team would be rejigged quickly ahead of their next game against Jigawa Golden Stars.
“I must admit that we didn’t play as expected, we struggle to control the game for most part of it, Zamfara are really good side but I’m happy we could hold on to get the win.
“We couldn’t play the way we wanted as some of our key players failed the meet at the last minutes, that aside, I think Zamfara were more composed to keep us out but we will be fully ready before next week,” he said.
His counterpart from FC Zamfara, Mohammed Alhassan who commended his team’s performance despite defeat said Kogi United were the better side adding that the positives would be built upon.
“Its a good loss for us, we are okay with the result, the match officials did well but I think Kogi United were a very good side, they deserve to win.
“We didn’t create much chances though we could have converted few we had but we met a very good side in Kogi, we will go back home and build on the some positives we’ve picked here and do better.”
Kogi United have garnered six points from three games while have 4 from same number of games played.
United’s next match is against Jigawa Golden Stars in Hadejia next Saturday while FC Zamfara will draw bye.
By: Wale Mustapha
Media Officer, Kogi United FC
Phone: 070373736434 | 08189087500
Facebook: Kogi-United FC