From Esther Akaa, Lafia
Nasarawa United Football Club on Sunday defeated visiting Akwa United 2- 1 in the entertaining Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match day 10 clash, played at the Lafia City Stadium, Lafia, Nasarawa state capital.
Left fullback, Ebuka Anaekwe, struck from close range in the third minute of additional time, courtesy of Abubakar Abdullahi’s assist to hand the Solid Miners a hard-earned 2-1 victory against the Promise Keepers in one of the most physical games this Season.
Nasarawa United had gone ahead in the 56th minute through skillful attacker, Adamu Hassan, as he poked home substitute, Chinedu Ohanachom’s flicker inside the box from a corner kick.
The home side almost doubled the lead but Silas Nwankwo’s thunderbolt could only clatter against the woodwork, off Tebo Franklin’s long range pass.
Seven minutes later, Ndifreke Effiong would draw the visitors level with a sublime strike inside the box after capitalising on a loose ball from Sadiq Abdurazaq.
Both sides introduced some new feet to change the status of the game, but it was Nasarawa United who would be the happier for it at full time in a game that saw Ebuka Anaeke who was only making his second start for the Solid Miners this term, voted Most Valuable Player (MVP).
In a post match reaction, the Nasarawa State Coach, Bala Nikyu said, “We lost three straight matches before this game. Winning today’s match is good for us because we are sure of making progress on the table and we hope to continue with the feat and see what comes out of it.”
“Situations necessitated a change in my game plan today and I am glad it worked for us,” he stated.
On his part, the Akwa United Coach, Kennedy Boboye, said, “We did well, just that we lost concentration. We will go back home and correct our mistakes.
“I put the blames on the boys because they lost concentration toward the dying minutes of the game, but we will continue from there when we get home.”
Also speaking, Ebuka Anaekwe, the last minute goal scorer said, “I feel very happy to be voted as the MVP of today’s game. I thank God for the victory, and I am glad that we are back to our winning ways.
“When the opponents equalised, I felt so sad, but I encouraged my teammates never to give up until regulation time. And I am glad that I scored that winning goal.
“I hope we keep the winning mentality alive, going forward,” he said.