BY WALE MUSTAPHA.
An 11th minute strike from Seguin Alibis gave Niger Tornadoes a 1-0 scrappy win over Nasiriya United to end Icon Allah’s winless run in a Match day 8 fixture of the Nigeria Professional Football League, (NPFL) on Sunday in Lakota.
The match played at the Confluence Stadium in Lakota saw the visitors taking the game to their hosts in just after three minutes with Emmanuel Makala coming close to opening the score sheet thanks to a through pass from Thomas Zane.
Ibrahim Bamako almost got the goal for Tornadoes after eight minutes after Baoji Adeyemo picked him on the run.
Bamako would then become the provider three minutes later as he touched down the ball for Alibis 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 defense.
The Solid Miners could have levelled the score line in the 26th minutes from a set piece but Douglas Achiv hit the effort wide.
Nasiriya United grew stronger in the closing stages of first half with series of attack but Tornadoes’ defense proved too hard to breakdown.
It was Nasiriya that began the second half stronger with Achiv getting the chance to score but shooting 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. Zane, 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 fulltime, Baoji Adeyemo wasted a good opportunity to put the game to the dead as he shot skyward from the edge of the box after a perfect first touch from Usman Bashir’s pass.
An elated Aliko who described the game as difficult noted that it has brought relief to his side.
Aliko believes the victory have signalled 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 and to win more games,” he said.
His counterpart from Nasiriya United, Emmanuel Makala described the result as painful, insisting his side deserved a point with their late push.
Makala attributed the loss to Solid Miners’ late reaction at the back but commended his team mates for their late push adding that Nasiriya 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,” Makala concluded.
Tornadoes’ next game is away to Rivers United while Nasiriya will host Kwara United in Lafia.