Nasarawa United 4-3 Enyimba: Five things we learnt

By Clement Nwankpa Jr

Nasarawa United defeated Enyimba 4-3 at Lafia City Stadium in a Matchday 24 tie on Sunday. Emmanuel Makama (28th, 79th PK), Najeem Olukokun (35th) and Zinte Udeh (45th minute) scored for Nasarawa while Abdulrahman Bashir (26th), Chinedu Udeagha (49th) and Freedom Omofoman (80th minute) were on target for Enyimba. Here are five things we learnt from the game.

(1) Thriller in Lafia

You don’t see such games in the NPFL every day. This was a thriller by all standards. Brave goalkeeping; end-to-end high-tempo stuff; a wonder goal; high skill repertoire; this was a game to savour. You dared not take your eyes off the pitch. A spectator seated near this writer was still relishing Nasarawa’s fourth goal, lost concentration and by the time he was told the scores were 4-3, he wondered when Enyimba got a fourth. Things happened that fast at both ends.

(2) Nasarawa’s defensive woes

Nasarawa has a defensive problem and this is official. The defending was awful. The giant young man, Jide Williams has great potentials but is taking too long realising it. On more than one occasion, the full backs and midfielders had to fall back to clear his mess just as Suraj Ayeleso’s heroics sufficed some of those moments Williams and co lost their composure. As early as the first minute, Maxwell Effiom had a one-on-one opportunity but was thwarted by Ayeleso. This defence almost threw these three points away.

(3) Zenke fills Balogun’s shoes

Kabir Balogun is the assist king in the league this season and his absence was the talking point prior to kickoff but Thomas Zenke made his absence less felt. He was the most dangerous player on the pitch though on the other end, Effiom was a thorn in Nasarawa’s flesh. Zenke was at the centre of everything positive about the Solid Miners and weighed in with three assists.

4) Like Bature, like Bashir

What’s this thing about former Nasarawa players coming back to haunt the team. Bature Yaro scored for Plateau against Nasarawa and refused to celebrate. Here, another Nasarawa old boy, Abdulrahman Bashir opened the day’s floodgate of goals and with his reaction, many were confused about whether the ball had actually gone in or hit the side net. He merely shrugged his shoulder and walked away beckoning on his team mates not to celebrate with him. He hadn’t forgotten his good moments in Lafia.

(5) Udeagha serves a wonder goal

Before this game, Najeem Olukokun was presented his VAT Wonder Goal cheque. That could have spurred Enyimba’s Chinedu Udeagha to produce a potential wonder goal nominee, if not winner. He ran all of 20 yards before unleashing a canon with his weaker right foot. Suraj Ayeleso couldn’t even move. It just happened like a flash. The Nasarawa midfielders could be blamed for letting him run all that distance unchecked but the boy knew what he wanted to do from the moment he began that run and declined his team mates’ invites for a pass. This goal summed up this thriller.