Plateau United played host to Nasarawa United in the Nigeria Professional Football League matchday seven clash at the New Jos Stadium, Zaria Road on Friday afternoon with both sides expecting to go home with the three maximum points.
The ever-improving Solid Miners who had snatched seven points out of their last three away league fixtures signalled their intentions of picking up more points and sustaining their number one position on the ladder as Silas Nwankwo nearly found the opener ten minutes into the game after he outran his markers before laying for Haggai Katoh who would later extend the benevolence to Victor Okoro before the latter was crowded out in the box.
The pendulum, however, switched almost immediately as the home side went close to causing havoc through Umar Abbah who called Danlami Umar, in goal for Nasarawa United, into action with his acrobatic strike.
Mohamed Zulkifilu broke the deadlock just ten minutes before the half time whistle as he nodded Amos Gyang’s cross into the back of the net, a scoreline the home side held going into the break.
Nasarawa United started the second-half on a fast note and the first real threat was posed by Chinedu Ohanachom after he benefited from Tebo Franklin’s long range pass to the box but before he could unleash his intention, he was surrounded by a forest of legs from the hosts.
Twice the Peace Boys hit the woodwork, and despite effecting some changes, neither side could find the back of the net as final score stood at 1-0, handing the Solid Miners their first defeat of the season in a game that was televised live before the global audience.
Despite the result, Nasarawa United still occupies the first position on the log pending outcome of other matchday seven games which will be played across the country during the weekend.
The travellers next play Enyimba of Aba on Wednesday, next week, at the Lafia City Stadium.
COACH BALA NIKYU(NAS): “Football is all about winning, losing and drawing. I said it before this game that we aren’t unbeatable, but we are only having a good time.
“I thought we could have continued with that feat, but we couldn’t. But we will continue to push harder to return to our winning ways, after this result today – We remain who we are.
“I am not disappointed by the result, but we will go back and make amends.
“Ahead of our next game against Enyimba, they are not Arsenal or Manchester. Enyimba is beatable!”
COACH ABDUL MAIKABA(PLA): “I feel excited because we knew even before the game that it was not going to be easy, it’s going to be a difficult game.
“We are happy we have won, that is the target. We are now three points behind Nasarawa United and we are getting closer.”
NASARAWA UNITED X1: Danlami Umar, Abdullahi Abubakar, Ini Edem, Uzochukwu Chigozie, Tebo Franklin, Sadiq Abdulrazaq, Victor Okoro(Ikenna Ofor 49′), Haggai Katoh(Bashiru Usman 72′), Aliyu Abdullahi(Adamu Hassan 70′), Chinedu Ohanachom, Silas Nwankwo
UNUSED SUBSTITUTES: Mohammed Galadima, Ameh Godwin(GK), Ibrahim Matthew, Ebuka Anaekwe, Onyema Emeka, Dauda Maigishiri.
Haggai Katoh(NAS) 21′
Chinedu Ohanachom(NAS) 62′