NPFL Midweek Round Up
Lobi Stars 3 Nasarawa Utd 2
Silas Nwankwo’s brace could not save Nasarawa United from defeat as they lost 2-3 to their host, Lobi Stars in a North-Central NPFL matchday 34 derby clash at the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi, on Wednesday afternoon.
The Solid Miners went ahead just three minutes into the game through Silas Nwankwo after dribbling past the forest of legs, including the goalkeeper, before slotting the ball into an empty net.
Shortly after, Adamu Hassan squandered a face-to-face chance, poking the ball inches wide to the frustration of the United’s bench.
Lobi Stars drew level courtesy of Matthias Samuel’s freekick in the 19th minute.
But it was United who would take the lead again after Dauda Maigishiri’s defence-splitting pass found Silas Nwankwo and the goal machine energetically ran past his marker before smashing the ball beyond the grasp of the home side goalkeeper, Nwabali Stanley in the 27th minute, his sixteenth goal of the season.
While Nasarawa United were still in their celebration mood, disaster struck. Ogunye Austin fed Matthias Samuel and the bulky player poked home the equaliser from close range in the 30th minute.
Lobi Stars won the match three minutes before half-time through a sublime finish from Ogunye Austin off Chinonso Okonkwo’s orchestrated pass.
With the game approaching regulation time, United fought back to get a leveller but Silas Nwankwo’s hat-trick mission was scuttled by the fingers of Lobi goalkeeper, Nwabali Stanley, as he parried it over the bar to the disbelief of everyone.
Despite the result, Nasarawa United return home with their heads high as they are still occupying the 2nd position on the league table with 58 points, six points behind table-topping Akwa United who won their home game against Warri Wolves in the other tie.
The Solid Miners will play Gombe United in their Aiteo Federation Cup Quarter-Finals clash in Jos, Plateau State, on Friday, 23rd July, 2021, before returning to their base in Lafia for a league game against visiting Sunshine Stars of Akure on Sunday, 25th July, 2021.
Evans Ifeatu (NAS) 76′
Coach Bala Nikyu(NAS): “It’s a good game. Both teams sized each other up very well and missed lot of goalscoring chances, but at the end, It was Lobi Stars who carried the day.
“Nevertheless, I don’t think today’s result will thwart my team’s ambition to qualify for the Continent.”
Coach Kabiru Dogo(LOB): “Nasarawa United are a good side, at least, I know them well because that’s where I made my name.
“Look at their position on the league table, that shows they are doing well, but I am proud of my wards’ fighting spirit which made us come from behind to win.
“However, I am pleading with our teaming supporters to be patient with us as the boys are picking up.”
Barnabas Imienger Jnr.(Striker/NAS): “We came here to pick the maximum points, unfortunately, we lost the game.
“However, we will move on and turn focus on the remaining games, with the hope to pick one of the continental tickets.”‘
Rivers Utd Cry Foul after 2-1 Loss to Jigawa GS
Rivers United lost 2-1 to Jigawa Golden Stars but there were outrcy over poor officiating and the use of a suspended player by the hosts.
Media Officer of River United Charles Mayuku, disclosed that Richard Christopher, sporting jersey number 8 was ineligible for the match due to accumulated yelow cards but was featured in the match, in defiance of a letter from the LMC.
Abia Warriors 2-1 Heartland
Akwa United 3-0 Warri Wolves
Rangers 2-0 Kano Pillars
Jigawa G.S 2-1 Rivers Utd
Lobi Stars 3-2 Nasarawa United
MFM 3-1 Plateau United
Sunshine Stars 0-0 Katsina United