From Esther Akaa, Lafia
Nasarawa United Football Club beat Katsina United 1-0 in a fast-paced entertaining Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) week four fixture on Sunday.
The match played at the Lafia township stadium saw Nasarawa United defender Uzochukwu Chigozie scoring the only goal. Chigozie latched on to a loose ball in the penalty box in the 50th minute.
Before the goal, the officials and accredited media personnel allowed into the stadium had witnessed relentless creative and attacking football from one end to the other for 90 minutes.
One player, Aliyu Adam, stood out as he constantly troubled the Katsina United defence with his dribbles, cute passes and goalscoring opportunities throughout the encounter.
Even after the goal was scored, the intensity of the game was still maintained with the Nasarawa United players pouring upfront to double their lead and the away side also looking for an opportunity to equalise.
In the 87th minute, Katsina United thought they had drawn level when Nasarawa United’s goalkeeper Danlami Umar poorly handled a shot played towards him.
But the centre referee ruled that the ball did not pass the goal line, dashing hopes of an equaliser till the final whistle was blown.
Speaking after the match, Head Coach of Katsina United, Bishir Sadauki, praised his players’ performance and said his team did not lose as far as he was concerned.
He pointed out that this was because the ball poorly handled by the Nasarawa United goalkeeper had passed the goal line.
“This was a game we were not supposed to lose, because our goal was disallowed and I know it was a goal. I don’t normally complain about officiating anywhere I go, and I have decided to let it go.
“For now, the results have not been encouraging. But I am building a new team. It’s a new Katsina United and when you are building a new team, you don’t expect that every match you must win.
“You have to give the boys confidence to play. So, every time we are encouraging them to play with passion and confidence,” Sadauki said.
Nasarawa United’s defender Franklin Tebo, who was voted Man of the Match by journalists for his defensive performance throughout the match, said he was happy with his performance and the result.
He, however, noted that they were not going to let their guard down.
“It’s still a long way to go. But the way to go is to continue to work harder, because to be at the top is very hard. We need to double our efforts.
“I applaud my team mates for the team effort and the commitment today,” Tebo said.