Kwara United Beat Katsina United To Move Up One Step
Kwara United Football Club of Ilorin on Sunday defeated visiting Katsina United 2-1 in a Match Day 8 fixture of the 2017/2018 Nigeria Professional Football League.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the match was played the Kwara Stadium Complex in Ilorin.
With 20 minutes into the game, Joshua Agboola would have put the visitors ahead but goalkeeper Eze Chidiebere for Kwara United made a brilliant save to deny them the opening goal.
NAN reports that the first half was an end-to-end battle, but the duo of Akeem Onigbari and Chinedu Chukwu of Kwara United defended brilliantly on many occasions.
But the hosts went ahead with just three minutes after the restart when Emeka Godwin smashed a brilliant effort into the roof of the net.
Twelve minutes later, Stephen Alfred scored his third consecutive home game goal when he headed past goalkeeper, Yinka David, to extend Kwara United's lead.
Substitute Sunday Odudu would have extended their lead but David made a fantastic save to deny the former Kwara Football Academy product.
Martins Usule ghosted past Kwara United’s Chinedu Chukwu before he brilliantly found the back of the net to make it 2-1 in the 84th minute.
There was a mild drama in the 90th minute when Katsina United's appeal for a penalty kick was waved off by the centre referee.
The visitors had claimed that Chukwu used his hand to deflect an effort for a corner kick.
Another drama ensued one minute later when Joseph Adah who came on for Tasiu Lawal in the 58th minute was adjudged to have been fouled in the box.
The referee's decision to wave play on led to some dissatisfaction.
Speaking after the game, Katsina United's coach, Abdullahi Biffo, said while he had never complained about officiating he would not be out of order to complain this time around.
He claimed that it was the referee who handed the hosts the maximum three points.
Biffo said: "The referee made some calls that decided the game.
"But we can't continue to see the game like this. It is like a waste of time when you prepare your team and the match officials hand you a performance like this.
"We want to be part of the development of the NPFL. But there is no cause for alarm, we will go back and strategise for the next game."
His counterpart at Kwara United, John Obuh, said he was delighted to see his wards performed so brilliantly.
Obuh said: "We want to step up our game more than what has been seen today.
"We had to defend very well at the closing minutes of the game, because we had to defend our goals and they have nothing to lose. That was why they came out at us."
Reacting to Biffo's comments on the match officials' handling of the match, Obuh said it was rather unfortunate.
He said it was lamentable that many Nigerian coaches complain when they not pleased with match results and keep quiet when they are happy with the results.
He said: "As far as I am concerned, the referee did well. If we are to assign blames, we (Kwara United) will even say he didn't give us any advantage playing at home."
NAN reports that Kwara United moved one place up on the log from 19th to 18th, with nine points from a possible 24.
They will travel to Lafia to face Nasarawa United for a Match Day 9 encounter on February 18.