Plateau Utd go top of the pile after routing Katsina Utd 3-0

By Francis Achi

Plateau United ended the first stanza of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season as leaders after defeating Katsina United 3-0 in a Matchday 19 encounter played at the Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos on Wednesday.

Golbe Elisha gave a glimpse of what to expect in the encounter when he powered a free kick from about 40 yards which rattled Yinka David in goal for Katsina United, who could not hold on to the ferocious shot and Joshua Obaje pounced on the goalkeeper's mistake to tap in for the first goal in the sixth minute.

With the early goal, fans of the home team were expecting more. Philip Azango, Kabiru Umar and Joshua Obaje, the attacking trio of Plateau United tormented the defence of Katsina United, but the goals failed to come rather it was Katsina United, that deployed counter-attack tactics, desperately looking for the equaliser, with Obinna Eleje's glancing header landing into the hands of Dele Ajiboye in goal for Plateau United. Ajiboye was also to the rescue for the home team, stopping the low drive of Eric Gwammy, as the score stood at 1-0 going into the break.

Plateau United stepped up their intent to pick the maximum points at stake when Kabiru Umar jabbed into the net for the second goal in the 47th minute from Daniel Itodo's powerful throw-in, which bounced inside the box of Katsina United and caught the defenders napping and the striker was quick to slot home the goal.

Despite all the attempts by Katsina United to reduce the goals deficit, it was substitute Jimmy Ambrose of Plateau United, who replaced Mafeng Pam in the 50th minute that put the icing on the cake for the home team. Ambrose collected a pass from Golbe Elisha in the middle of the park, sold a dummy past Katsina United players before releasing a thunderous shot from 45 yards beating the goalkeeper flat to send the fans into frenzy in the 85th minute.

The remaining five minutes was very frustrating for Katsina United, as the league leaders taught the visitors some lessons in tip-tap soccer, stringing passes among themselves in the midfield and occasionally launching attacks, which resulted to corner kicks in quick succession, which were wasted before the centre referee signalled the end of the game.

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