By Femi Atolagbe
Nasarawa United Football Club have ended their short pre-season tour of Abuja with a hard-earned 1-1 stalemate result against a determined KCG(Kennedy-Charles-Gloria) Football Academy.
A day after their hard-fought 2-4 loss to Nigeria’s U-20 national team at the FIFA Goal Project, the Solid Miners as Nasarawa United is nikenamed, took on the stubborn KCG Football Academy team at the mini field, River Plate Garden, Abuja.
United’s Technical Adviser, Bala Nikyu, made some slight changes different from the previous squad unleashed against the U -20.
The match got off on a decent start, with both sides playing an attacking game, which kept the small number of spectators lively.
Soon when United got comfortable and took control of the game, new acquisition from Plateau United, Julius Agogo, drew the first blood as early as in the 8th minute but his long range effort on goal was well timed by the KCG goalkeeper, Stephen Sunday.
Twelve minutes later, another new signing from Sunshine Stars, Joshua Obaje, unleashed a thunderbolt from 35-yards but he was unlucky as his shot deflected off a KCG defender for a corner kick.
The hosts made their first attempt on goal in the 38th minute through a counter-attack, but for the bravery of the United’s goalkeeper, Galadima Mohammed, who was on the alert to deal with the final threat from Danjuma Yakubu Usman.
Two minutes before the break, Cameroonian import, Platini Kaham, sent a telegrahic pass to Obaje inside the box, but the latter’s final touch was cannoned over the bar for a goal kick.
Both teams went into the half-time with scores at 0-0.
Upon resumption for the second-half, Platini was the recipient of a delightful pass from former Gombe United midfielder, Sadiq Abdulrazaq, but the attacker of Cameroonian decent whipped the ball above the post.
Both coaches at the dugouts made some changes, with Shammasu Mohammed replacing the thick-structured Platini, with the former’s first touch heading toward the goal, only for the goalkeeper to acrobatically punch it out of the danger zone for a corner kick.
Bello Abdullahi helped to keep the scoreline at par with a goal-bound clearance in the 77th minute when United’s goalkeeper, Galadima, was outwitted by a KCG attacker, Shetima Mohammed, outside his box.
The Solid Miners rang in their final substitutions ten minutes to regulation time, with the duo of Julius Agogo and Maigishiri Dauda paving way for former Sunshine Stars’ striker, Silas Nwankwo, and Victor Okoro.
Hardly had the energetic Silas Nwankwo settled down in the game than he provided a defence-splitting pass to Shammasu within the box, and the youngster intelligently slotted home from a close range to put United in the lead at 90th minute.
However, the centre referee allowed play to continue till the 105th minute, and the hosts drew level through Abimbola Samuel after they capitalized on some defensive frailties.
The result ended the two-days pre-season tour of Abuja by the Solid Miners and they are now back to their base in Lafia for continuation of further preparations before the new NPFL Season gets underway on Sunday, 6th December, 2020.