Tornadoes hold Go Round to extend unbeaten streak to seven
Niger Tornadoes have extended their unbeaten streak in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) to seven matches after they picked valuable away point against Go Round on Sunday at the Krisdera Hotel Stadium, Omoku in a Matchday 17 tie.
The home side got the curtain raiser in the 18th minute through Nelson Esor after a good job from Odinaka Onyirimba but the Ikon Allah Boys levelled the scoreline in the 44th minute through Segun Alebiosu who capitalised on Go Round’s loss of concentration to lob an unrushing Victor Obiowo for the equaliser.
The NPFL new boys thought they had the points in the bag when Esor, the captain of the side was upended in the goal area by Tornadoes defender Hussaini Isah in the 58th minute but Chile Azu inexplicably failed to hit target from the penalty spot a minute as his shot ricocheted off the woodwork and back into play.
Head coach of Go Round, Ngozi Elechi elected to start with Obiowo in goal for the home team after first choice goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali could not recover from the wrist injury he copped in their game with Yobe Desert Stars. Elechi stuck with most of the regular outfield players with Esor leading the charge against a resilient Tornadoes.
Tornadoes head coach Hamza Abara kept faith with skipper and goalkeeper of the side, Mustapha Aliko while the defensive partners of Reuben Ogbonnaya and Andrew Ikefe were also retained among other notable starters.
The home team started the game with more urgency with Adeseun Adelani and Esor giving Tornadoes so much to worry about and were close to open scoring in the early minutes of the game but good defending by the visitors and poor marksmanship denied them scoring opportunities.
There was however no stopping them in the 18th minute after good interchange of passes between Esor and Onyirimba. The skipper got past two markers and fired a shot beyond the reach of Aliko.
Go Round pushed forward despite their slim lead with the intent to kill off the resistance of their guests but without result.
With few minutes to the end of the first half, the hosts were distracted in the 44th minute. They thought there was an infringement against Tornadoes but the referee allowed the game to continue and Alebiosu received a good pass from Japhet Daniel which evaded the Go Round defenders and he was presented with the simple task of lobbing Obiowo who left his goalpost with the aim of dispossessing Alebiosu off the ball.
At the resumption of the second half, Go Round continued from where they stopped and they were rewarded about 13 minutes into the second half when Esor who has been a thorn in the flesh of Tornadoes was upended in the box when Isah mistimed his tackle.
Azu missed the golden chance to race into the lead again as his missed effort from the spot proved to be the last real goalscoring chance of the game.
Go Round: Victor Obiowo; Ebuka Akobundu, Chris Kpekpe, Chile Azu, Odinaka Onyirimba, Stanley Worlu, Nelson Esor, Okon Otop, Chidi Nwachukwu, George Vincent (Bassey Obinna 81′), Adelani Adeseun (Shedrack Oghali 56′)
Unused subs: Godwin Ameh; Akinwale Ogunjobi, Chukwu Maurice, Reuben Essien, Udeh Chinonso
Goals: Nelson Esor 18′
Yellow card: Ebuka Akobundu
Niger Tornadoes: Mustapha Aliko; Reuben Ogbonnaya, Hussaini Isah, Andrew Ikefe, Sunday Akinmoladun (Ahmadu Liman 30′), Austin Igenepo, Uche Onwuansoanya (Bashir Usman 71′), Bolaji Adeyemi, Segun Alebiosu (Peter Momoh), Abdulkadir Zango, Daniel Japhet
Unused subs: Terkaa Melai; Iko James, Rabiu Sani, Ilyasu Isyaku
Goals: Segun Alebiosu 44′
Yellow cards: Japhet Daniel, Huseini Isah, Aliko Mustapha, Ahmadu Liman, Abdulkadir Zango
Go Round 1-1 Niger Tornadoes
Free kicks : 22-16
Shots on Target: 8-2
Shots off Target: 12-4
Corner kicks: 7-2
Yellow cards: 5-1
Red Cards: 0-0
Man of the Match: Nelson Esor (Go Round)
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