Alebiosu ends Niger Tornadoes’ winless run
By Wale Mustapha
An 11th minute strike from Segun Alebiosu gave Niger Tornadoes a 1-0 scrappy win over Nasarawa United to end Ikon Allah’s winless run in a Matchday 8 fixture of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) on Sunday.
The match played at the Confluence Stadium in Lokoja saw the visitors take the game to their hosts in just after three minutes with Emmanuel Makama coming close to opening the score sheet thanks to a through pass from Thomas Zenke.
Ibrahim Babawo almost got the goal for Tornadoes on eight minutes after Bolaji Adeyemo picked him on the run.
Babawo would then become the provider three minutes later as he touched down the ball for Alebiosu to tuck in from close range.
The game’s man of match could have doubled the lead for the hosts in the 15th minute but his effort went off target after Seun Sogbeso had committed a blunder in Nasarawa’s defence.
The Solid Miners could have leveled the scoreline in the 26th minute from a set piece but Douglas Achiv hit the effort wide.
Nasarawa United grew stronger in the closing stages of first half with series of attack but Tornadoes’ defence proved too hard to breakdown.
It was Nasarawa United that began the second half stronger with Achiv getting the chance to score but shot wide from a near perfect build up.
The Lafia-based club looked destined to get the equalizer in the closing stage of the match, controlling possession. Zenke, Ishaya Anyu and substitute Ibrahim Sanusi came close to beating Mustapha Aliko in goal for Tornadoes but the keeper was at his best to deny the visitors.
Just as the game was heading for full time, Bolaji Adeyemo wasted a good opportunity to put the game to bed as he shot skywards from the edge of the box after a perfect first touch from Usman Bashir to lay a pass on a plate.
An elated Aliko who described the game as difficult noted that it has brought relief to his side.
Aliko believes the victory have signaled the start of another good run for Tornadoes.
“Honestly I feel happy for this win, it wasn’t an easy game but this has given us relief.
“We’ve always been playing well, playing better than our opponents but not lucky to win, but I’m sure this will give us confidence to win more games,” he said.
His counterpart from Nasarawa United, Emmanuel Makama described the result as painful, insisting his side deserved a point with their late push.
Makama attributed the loss to Solid Miners’ late reaction at the back but commended his teammates for their late push adding that Nasarawa would come good in their subsequent games.
“I’m pained with the result, it’s not what we deserve because we put a lot into it especially in the second half but we were not lucky, we were caught off guard with the goal but we will learn from this and correct the mistakes noticed in our next game,” Makama concluded.
Tornadoes’ next game is away to Rivers United while Nasarawa will host Kwara United in Lafia.
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