Nasarawa Utd fail to mine goodies in Lokoja, fall to Tornadoes

Niger Tornadoes scored once in each half to pluck all three points in Lokoja on Sunday and send Nasarawa United back to Lafia empty-handed after the Matchday 12 game in the Nigeria Professional Football League.

Abdullahi Musa Wakili sent Suraj Ayeleso the wrong way from the penalty spot in the 26th minute after Jide Williams tripped Peter Momoh in United’s penalty area.

Thomas Zenke, Emmanuel Makama and the lively Buhari Jafaar all put up great effort in the Lokoja sun, but Tornadoes, who are gradually turning the Confluence Stadium into a fortress (away from their Minna home), defended with resolution and attacked with aplomb.

Chidiebere Ajoku fluffed what was Ikon Allah’s best chance of the game till when he could not connect Hussaini Isah’s pass in the 18th minute, but the ‘homers’ would be celebrating minutes later after Wakili scored from the spot.

Two minutes later, Ayeleso needed double effort to gather the ball from a Peter Momoh free kick, and an unhappy Nasarawa United coach Kabiru Dogo roared at his ‘Solid Miners.’ Thereafter, they threw some sticks into the inferno, and Zenke and Makama came close just before the half time whistle.

A fierce opening to the second stanza saw Nasarawa United defender Seun Sogbeso blocking an effort by Suleiman Sadiq, and Tornadoes goalkeeper Mustapha Aliko was alert to save from a Thomas Zenke header.

Zenke was indeed in good form on the evening, but it was Tornadoes that hit fortune, scoring on the hour after an excellent team–work was finished off by substitute Ebenezer Odeyemi, the pass from Ibrahim Babawo.

In the 75th minute, referee Chibuzor Udeh waved away a penalty appeal by Tornadoes after Babawo was brought down by Makama.

There were a couple more chances for Zenke and Mohammed Shammasu but Tornadoes held on for a deserved three points.


Abubakar Bala (Coach, Niger Tornadoes): It wasn't an easy match, we knew Nasarawa were a very good side that uses ball very well, especially in the midfield, so I asked by boys to mark out their main ball passer, Zenke and Anyu, which they did well, and we were able to make good use of our counters. Today was our day, performance wise, we could have scored more goals but overall we thank God for the victory.

We will build on this and take it to Maiduguri (against Elkanemi Warriors) we are aiming to break the jinx just like we did in Enugu (against Rangers).

Suleiman Kabiru Dogo (Coach, Nasarawa United): I'm satisfied with my boys' performance despite the fact that we lost the game. This was one of those days you work hard but still lose the game. We will continue to work hard and to perform better than our previous games.

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