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Hassan's lone strike secures 1-0 win for Nasarawa Utd over Akwa Utd

By Abdul Raheem

Nasarawa United on Thursday evening snapped a poor run of form after posting 1-0 victory over Akwa United in a Matchday 11 game of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPLF) at Lafia City Stadium.

Adamu Hassan nodded home a cross from Jide Williams in the 34th minute to take advantage of the game and make their dominance count, while giving the home fans something to cheer after mounting loads of pressure on the visiting Akwa United.

Both sides were in dire need of victory after some tepid performances, but the home side, who had picked only one point from their last two matches, were more desperate to get back to winning ways, thus taking hold of the game from the beginning.

Despite controlling the game and making waves of attack, they have nothing to show for it in the early parts, as all their attacks were either snuffed out or ended in wayward shooting until Adamu stepped up to score the goal.

The goal brought the best out of Akwa United, who wanted to make amends after dropping from the CAF Confederation Cup, but they were no match for the home side, whose trio of Adamu Hassan, Thomas Zenke and man-of-the-match, Buhari Jafar kept on harassing the visitors' defence.

Following the goal, Akwa United increased their efforts to equalise, with Alhassan Ibrahim and Musa Newman making good runs but they failed to make hay. The few occasions they had opportunities, they could not find the net due to poor marksmanship.

In the second half, the home side continued their midfield dominance and occasional forays into their opponents vital area but could not increase the tally. The game later became rough forcing the referee to make many cautions to both sides including Semiu Liadi of Akwa United, who bagged two yellow cards and was eventually sent off.

Speaking after the match, Nasarawa United coach, Kabir Dogo commended his players for winning the match even as he lamented dearth of goals from the team noting that they have always played well but have been undone by poor marksmanship.

"I'm happy with my team's performance. We always play well but we are unlucky with goals, and we scored today even if it is one goal it was enough to win the game. Akwa United is one of the best teams in Nigeria with one of the best coaches so I'm happy to beat them," Dogo told npfl.ng.

Speaking on upcoming league matches, he said they are hungry for away victories. "The way we play, we are good for away point and we are still working on the area of goal scoring."

Akwa United coach Abdu Maikaba was however not satisfied with the game noting tnat the weather and pitch were factors that worked against free-flowing game. "It is a good performance but the high temperature affected (my team) and the nature of the pitch. This is the first time we are playing on the pitch and it is not playable.

"I believe Nasarawa United deserve their win. Nasarawa United were desperate for this game same way we were."

Apart from Liadi, who was sent off, Jide Williams for Nasarawa United, Aremu Afeez, Otobong Effiong, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi and Alhassan Ibrahim for Akwa United all bagged yellow cards.

Match details:

Nasarawa United: Ayeleso Suraj 27, Sogbeso Seun 5, Jide Williams 29, Emmanuel Makama 3, Olayinka Onaolapo 2, Eugene Obi 13 (18) (72'), Douglas Achiv 21, Ishaya Anyu 10 (15) (83') Thomas Zenke 7, Buhari Jafar 28, Adamu Hassan 11

Substitutes: Umar Danlami 1, Rabiu Shehu 35, Abdulbasit Shittu 6, Abubakar Ahmed 18, Kadir Aminu 15, Oussou Antonin 20, Phillip Auta 4

Coach: Kabiru Dogo

Akwa United: Ismaila Shagari 18, Otobong Effiong 16, Kodjo Dadzie 31 (5) (72'), Aremu Afeez 6 (2) (78'), Godspower Igudia 35, Semiu Laidi 27, Ubong Friday 7 (10) (72'), Alhassan Ibrahim 8, Musa Newman 9, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi 24, Moses Ebiye 12

Substitutes: Emmanuel Iwu 22, Paterne Counou 5, Ubong Idio 2, Gideon Julius 21, Nura Usman 29, Amaechi Orji 14, Christian Pyagbara 10

Coach: Abdu Maikaba

Man of the match: Buhari Jafar

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