December, 30 2021.
Nasarawa United FC, on Wednesday evening, ended Remo Stars' winning run by forcing them to a goalless draw as the 2021/22 Nigeria Professional Football League Season entered matchday three across the country.
The hosts were the bookmakers' pregame favourites to win after winning their first two games but were officially welcomed to the topflight league by a resurgent United side that have the best player in the domestic front as well as last season's highest goalscorer, Silas Nwankwo.
Remo drew the first blood when lanky striker, Andy Okpe headed a cross over the bar in the fifth minute, and immediately followed that up with an ambitious low effort that crawled out for a goalkick.
Four minutes later, the Skyblue Stars thought they had scored when Dayo Ojo's header beat goalkeeper, Godwin Ameh, only for the ball to skid through the face of the goalpost.
United replied the gesture minutes later as Silas Nwankwo outpaced his markers to drive in an incurler but the home side responded swiftly before the arrival of Charles Eguavon who was making his debut appearance for the Solid Miners.
As the game headed toward the break, right full-back, Abubakar Abdullahi, got fed by Dauda Maigishiri with the former lashing a shot that got deflected into corner kick.
The first-half saw no goal to either side.
Both sides returned for the restart, with the Solid Miners leading proceedings. Charles Eguavon found Aliyu Abdullahi but the latter's effort was intercepted.
After introducing some changes, Remo Stars went in search of a goal. Substitute, Sunday Williams, dribbled past the forest of legs, before releasing a blistering shot across the face of the goal.
Further threats from the home side failed to yield any result with the defensive trio of Ugochukwu Gabriel, Chris Madaki and Abubakar Abdullahi living up to the challenge.
With play heading to the climax, defender, Victor Collins, was shown the marching order after receiving his second booking of the evening for time wasting, reducing the travellers to ten men.
Despite having numerical advantage, the scoreline remained unchanged as the referee sounded the end of hostilities, Remo Stars dropping points for the first time this season, as the Solid Miners earned another deserved point on the road.
Today's result takes United to 9th position with three points from three games, while Remo still occupy the top position due to goal advantage with seven points.
The Solid Miners will return to Lafia for their weekend clash with last season's champions, Akwa United.
Coach Abubakar Arikya(NAS):
"It's a good result and we thank the boys for playing to instructions, knowing the opponents we were facing.
"We are working to get our first win of the season."
"We got some cards that came from time-wasting, we don't encourage unnecessary time-wasting, but when we return home, we will address that."
Coach Gbenga Ogunbote(REM): "It's a tough match. Today's game has welcomed us to the elite league.
"I am happy this happened early enough so that we can see the bitter aspect of the league.
"I wouldn't want to blame my wards, but to be frank, we lost the game in the first half because we wasted a lot of chances.
"Nasarawa United came with a game plan that worked for them. But we will continue to learn match by match to see how we can handle a lot of situations.
"I am impressed with the officiating, and I hope it continues this way."
*NASARAWA UNITED LINE-UP* Ameh Godwin, Abubakar Abdullahi, Ugochukwu Gabriel, Victor Collins, Chris Madaki, Aliyu Abdullahi(Moyi Hassan 78'), Michael Tochukwu, Dauda Maigishiri, Charles Eguavon(Kenneth Amia 70'), Alaekwe Chijioke, Silas Nwankwo
UNUSED SUBS; Danlami Umar, Osas Okoro, Ini Edem, Udom Ekerette, Ifeanyi Ejeh, Paul Funom, Shammasu Mohammed