Ashadi seals slim win for Katsina United to go second
By Uchenna Iyoke
Katsina United raced into second spot on the NPFL table for the first time, since the inception of the current campaign after a 1-0 hard-fought victory over El-Kanemi Warriors on Sunday.
The Katsina club laboured to pip a well coordinated El-Kanemi Warriors at the Muhamadu Dikko Stadium.
Destiny Ashadi scored from the spot in the 53rd minute to hand his team maximum points. It was Lucky Erimuya who hacked down Usule Martins in the vital area before the referee pointed to the spot.
United started on a brighter note through early incursions by attacking trio of Usule, Joshua Agboola and Tasiu Lawal. Usule fired wide from close range in 4th minutes, having received a low cross from Faisal Sani.
Sani operated fervently through the left flank, his perfect deliveries had come most often in the first period as the host team capitalized on that wing for easy passage.
However, a more composed El-Kanemi Warriors did not succumb to the early pressure from their hosts. But rather resorted to their cohesive play as they held-out possession in the process.
The visitors first attempt at goal came in the 8th minute through Innocent Gabriel, who blasted wide from the edge of the box after a through-pass by Nura Mohammed.
Ashadi’s penalty appeal was ignored on 15 minutes, though he made several scoring efforts alongside Joshua Agboola, no thanks to goalkeeper Jobe Modou who denied the pair.
El-Kaneimi’s other attempts would come from the foots of Sunday Anthony and Razak Aliyu. The former’s shot from the edge was saved by Dami Paul, while the latter blasted wide before the break.
On return, the visitors demonstrated a more attacking intent with their positional style of play, but no glaring chance to show for that. They however would count themselves lucky as Katsina United almost doubled their lead from a counterattack involving Ashadi and Tasiu. Kudos to El-Kanemi goalkeeper Jobe Modou who parried a close range strike by Tasiu.
Lucky Erimuya conceded the foul that gifted their hosts a penalty seven minutes after resumption, he carelessly felled Usule in the box before Ashadi stepped-up to convert the resultant kick.
Nura Mohammed made a meaningful effort afterwards, when he drove in to lay the ball for Sunday Anthony, who was hacked down in the box by Ajanah Chinedu, but no foul was giving.
El-Kanemi’s Nura Mohammed was no doubt the outstanding performer until his substitution in the 90th minute. He was replaced by Aghahowa Otakho after Razak Aliyu got the marching order with a direct red card for elbowing Ebenezer Odeyemi.
The win moved Katsina United to second on the table, having amassed 27 points from 18 games while El-Kanemi remain in bottom-four position with 19 points from 17 matches.
Katsina United: Dajuma Dami Paul 35, Frank Kappe 2, Faisall Sani 31, Usman Barau 4, Timothy Danladi 5, Ajanah Chinedu 6, Tasiu Lawal 7, Joshua Agboola 8, Destiny Ashadi 10, Musa Suleiman 18, Usule Martin’s 19.
Subs Not Used: Yinka David 1, Tswanya Samuel 27, Mohammad Hussaini 22, Usman Bello 13, Joseph Adah 17, Ebenezer Odeyemi 11, Nurudeen Ibrahim 28
El-Kanemi: Jobe Modou 24, Innocent Gabriel 13, Ebuka Anaekwe 20, Razak Aliyu 14, Lucky Erimuya 6, Tchoanfine Pade 33, Dasusa Anthono 29, Sunday Anthony 37, Nura Mohammed 32, Anthony Yeful 16, Mathias Samuel 8
Subs Not Used: Adamu Abubakar 23, Hussaini Bata 11, Solomon Ogberahwe 21, Williams Ukeme 31, Bello Kofarmata 17, Ahmadu Abubakar 40, Aghoha Otakho 2.
Katsina United 1-0 El-Kanemi
Shots On Target: 7-5
Shots Off Target: 6-6
Yellow cards: 1-2
Red Card : Razak Aliyu
Venue: Muhammadu Dikko Stadium, Katsina.
Referee: Mathew Tanimu
Man Of The Match: Nura Mohammed of El-Kanemi Warriors