Football: FC Abuja Force Kogi United to Another Stalemate

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Kogi United on Saturday recorded another vital point on the road as their hosts FC Abuja forced them to one all at the Area Pitch Stadium, Abuja.
John Jerome shoot Kogi United into lead with five minutes into second half after both sides grind out a goalless first half.
Abubakar Danlami was controversially sent off in the 76th minutes for his second bookable offense to give the host a numerical advantage.
And just as when the boys of Coach Tunde Abdulrahman were almost settled for the total victory, centre referee Daniel Katsina awarded an 88th minute spot kick as he assumed Micheal Bolaji had pushed Yaro Zakari in the box.
United’s goalkeeper Ogundare Detan guessed right as he dived full length to the left but his hand could not reach Chidi Ernest’s penalty.
The game started on a high tempo as both sides created a brilliant attacks but weren’t lucky to find a way through.
FC Abuja came close on two occasions in the first half when Samuel John’s header crashed the bar from Justice Zachariah’s cross.
Detan’s howler at the edge of the box almost result to a goal for the hosts in the 36th minutes when his slow pass to Bashir Chatto but was caught by Ishiak Samaila but the forward’s roll in effort was cleared by Musa Stephen.
Mukhtar Salihu was another player to test Detan in goal for United in the first half but his shot from edge of the box was well gathered by the bin pole keeper.
United’s first chance came early in the 17th minute when Matthew Idoko headed Abubakar Danlami’s free kick inch wide from goal.
John John also had his shot caught well by Nwobi after dribbled past two defenders in the final third.
The second half was an end to end affairs until Jerome broke the deadlock with five minutes into restart.
Kogi United had opportunities to increase their lead afterwards but the Idoko and Eghe Osas weren’t lucky to bury their chances from a counter.
The pendulum of possession swung to the side of the hosts when Danlami was booked for a second bookable offense in the 76th minutes.
FC Abuja threw everything they’ve got at United’s defense but couldn’t get a way through it.
The hosts were awarded an 88th minute penalty when Bolaji was adjudged to have pushed Zakari Yaro in the box.
Substitute Chidi Ernest stepped forward and bury the chance to end the pulsating encounter on even terms.
Commissioner for Youth and Sports in Kogi State, Hon Arome Adoji who was in Abuja to support the team commended United players for their effort to seal their second point on the road just as he berated the call for the late penalty.
He however called for continuous focus from the team to end the season on a high.
FC Abuja’s left back, Glory Adeniyi who rued his side’s disappointing result noted that United gave them a difficult times throughout the match.
Adeniyi added that the result which be a huge blow for the FCT based club but believed they can get out of it.
Kogi United will round up their first round campaign with home game against FC Taraba while FC Abuja travels to Ilorin to keep a date with Kwara United.

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