By Femi Atolagbe
Nasarawa United FC secured a 3-0 bashing over visiting Rangers International FC of Enugu in the Nigeria Professional Football League matchday 37 clash at the Lafia City Stadium.
Coach Bala Nikyu put their Aiteo Federation Cup final tie with Bayelsa United on Sunday behind them with a crucial win to put the Solid Miners in pole position to finish in the top two heading into the last game of the season.
Ikenna Offor gave Nasarawa United a lead five minutes into the first-half as Chigozie Obasi’s pass met the advancing midfielder and he wasted no time to rocket it past Femi Thomas in goal for the Enugu Flying Antelopes.
Aliyu Abdullahi doubled the hosts lead in the 42nd minute with a clinical finish with Chigozie Obasi, again the architect of the pass, as United led 2-0 going into the break.
Upon resumption, Rangers tried to weather the storm, with Christian Nnaji trying a shot from distance but Mohammed Galadima was alive to the threat.
Ernest Governor, Tope Olusesi and Ibrahim Olawoyin also had half chances which sailed wide and forced a save out of Mohammed Galadima respectively in the latter stages of the game
In their relentless pursuit to reduce the deficit, substitute, God’spower Aniefiok was shown a straight red card for elbowing Dauda Maigishiri in the face, reducing the Flying Antelopes to ten men in the 73rd minute.
The Solid Miners capitalized on the deficiency by increasing their brightness with high intensity and high pressure, a play-pattern that would later pay off in the 88th minute. Silas Nwankwo nodding down for the freestanding Adamu Hassan who selflessly laid it for the onrushing Ini Edem, with the latter powering the ball into the roof of the net for United’s third and final goal of the evening, firming their pursuit for the CAF Champions League slot.
It was a result that saw United’s Chairman, Mr Isaac Danladi, in jubilant mood with the Nasarawa State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr Othman Bala Adam, as United continue to maintain their 2nd position chase behind already crowned NPFL Champions, Akwa United, by six points, with 65 points, with Abia Warriors FC (away) their last league game before the curtains are drawn closed for the 2020/21 Nigeria Professional Football League Season.
Chigozie Obasi was named the Infinix Mobiles’ Man-of-the-match after providing two assists.