February, 27 2022.
By Eche Amos.
Nasarawa United's quest to register their first away victory of the current Nigeria Professional Football League campaign was a little bit delayed as they would have to wait probably for their next away game before that happens following a 2-1 slim defeat to league leaders, Rivers United, in a rescheduled matchday fifteen clash at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port-Harcourt on Saturday afternoon.
Despite scoring his fourth goal of the Season, Michael Tochukwu's free-kick strike in the 72nd minute wasn't enough to salvage the situation for the Lafia-based Solid Miners as two first-half goals from Chijioke Akuneto and Ishaq Kayode in the 23rd and 40th minutes respectively ensured the Port-Harcourt-based side kept their 100 percent home record over their guests since they became known as Rivers United.
Though there are a couple of matches to be played tomorrow (Sunday), Nasarawa United remain unmoved on the league's standings, occupying the 10th position with 20 points.
The team makes a swift return home where they will host regional counterparts, Kwara United, in the matchday sixteen tie before a long trip to Kaduna for a date with fellow Northerners, Kano Pillars, at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, on Sunday, next week.
Coach Bala Nikyu(NAS): "It wasn't a bad game, just that we started badly in the first-half which gave the opponents two unnecessary opportunities.
"My general assessment of the league is that it's been going on well, and I hope it finishes well.
"We are still aspiring to end the league season as one of the best(i.e among the top three)."
Coach Stanley Eguma (RIV): "It was a good game but somewhat difficult, too.
"We had it well in the first-half, scoring two goals. And one would have expected us to increase the tally, but Nasarawa United became stronger.
"I must give them kudos for their persistency and fighting spirit which exposed our players to a lot of fatigue, and immediately they got their goal, they got fired up.
"If not for the character and experience that we showed, it would have been a different ball game entirely against us.
"However, I commend them for their fighting spirit, which is what the game is all about, and I must commend my players and thank God for the victory."
NASARAWA UNITED LINE-UP: Danlami Umar, Abubakar Abdullahi, Ugochukwu Gabriel, Victor Collins, Ini Edem, Ibrahim Abiola(Bashir Usman 70'), Chidera Nduka(Moyi Hassan 75'), Michael Tochukwu(Manga Mohammed 85'), Ikenna Offor(Lawal Shehu 70'), Uche Ihuarulam, Alaekwe Chijioke(Shammasu Mohammed 70').
UNUSED SUBS: Mustapha Danjuma, Afeez Bankole, Paul Odeh, Ajibola Otegbeye