Beaten 2-0 by Nasarawa Utd, Preko bemoans FC Ifeanyiubah's travel misery

By Francis Achi

It was yet another poor result on the road for FC Ifeanyiubah with a 2-0 defeat at the Lafia Township Stadium to Nasarawa United on Matchday 13 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). The Anambra Warriors have lost all six away matches and are yet to pick a point in all their travels.

The poor away form is not going down well with the club's head coach, Yaw Preko who after the match told that he is worried by the inability of his players to convert chances during away fixtures. He also cited the difficulty in securing favourable results on the road but expressed high optimism that they would get around the present difficulties.

“We lost the game. I have nothing more to say than the fact that my attackers did not convert some of the chances that came our way in the game. Well, It is very difficult to get a good result at away games for my team, but hopefully all that will change in out next game against Enyimba of Aba, which is another away game for my team,” Preko said.

Most had viewed their commanding 3-0 defeat of Remo Stars in a rescheduled game last Wednesday as a turning point for the club which recently got knocked out of the CAF Confederation Cup in the first round by Egyptian club Al Masry.
Expectations were high but it was Nasarawa United that claimed all three points from the match which saw the hosts seize the initiative to dominate the game.

Captain of Nasarawa United on the day, Obi Eugene stood firm and controlled his colleagues from the defensive midfield position to check the occasional forays of Ifeanyi Onuigbo and Godwin Obaje.

Eugene was very rampant on the day, initiating attack with well calculated telling passes seeking out Thomas Zenke on the right side, who was operating from the right side. However, for all their ball possession, Nasarawa United didn't make it count in the final third and the forwards lacked the punch to make hay.

Zenke would continue to cause anxious moments to the backline of FC Ifeanyiubah including dribble runs that wrong-footed Valentine Nwabili and committed him to rough play inside the box for a penalty rightly awarded by the referee.

But the first kick by Adamu Hassan flew over the bar and it was the assistant referee's raised flag that resulted in the referee calling for a retake of the penalty. Some FC Ifeanyiubah players were adjudged to have encroached into the penalty area before the kick was taken.

The second time, Hassan found the back of the net from the penalty kick in the 34th minute after the game was on hold for some minutes.

The goal deficit made FC Ifeanyiubah to be more daring in attack, with Alberico Da Silva making dribble runs from the left side of the midfield, floating the ball dangerously into the Nasarawa United area. Obaje, who had the goalscoring burden for FC Ifeanyiubah made several attempts but on one such forays could not rattle Ayeleso Suraj in goal for Nasarawa United in the 36th minute.

In yet another swift counter attack from FC Ifeanyiubah featuring the duo of Onuigbo and Obaje in beautiful passing combinations that breached Nasarawa United's defence to threaten goalkeeper Suraj forcing him to parry the ball to corner kick on 39 minutes. The resultant corner kick by Alberico was nodded over by Obaje. Nasarawa ran in to the changing rooms with a one goal advantage.

The second half witnessed more fireworks as FC Ifeanyiubah seeking to restore parity, keeping possession and stamping their authority in the midfield. They were rebuffed by a strong Nasarawa United backline and goalkeeper.

But Drissa was not that fortunate again in the game when he conceded the second goal in the 80th minute after a goal mouth scramble. Drissa was quick to save the goal bound shot of Buhari Jafar, who replaced Thomas Zenke in the 76th minute, another shot from Douglas Achiv was deflected onto the path of Aminu Kadir and the attacker hit the back of the net from his powerful shot inside the box to send the Lafia fans into jubilation.

Nasarawa United 2-0 FC Ifeanyiubah
Shots on target: 3-2
Shots off target: 6-3
Corner kicks: 8-2
Fouls: 15-17
Free kicks: 17-15
Offside: 4-3
Yellow cards: 0-3
Red cards: 0-0

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