Football: FRSC FC 1-0 Kogi United

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By Wale Mustapha.
Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Football Club defeated gallant Kogi United FC by a lone goal in the Matchday 25 of the Bet9ja Nigeria National League, NNL clash on Saturday.
Suleiman Nura scored the lone goal of the match from close range after Isiaka Akeem’s cross was cleared to his path in the 14th minute.
United’s best chance to level the scoreline was denied by crossbar when Victor Tale’s delivery had beaten goalkeeper Asemome Alloy but crashed to the crossbar as Musa Jatau couldn’t convert the rebound.
The entertaining match played at the Snake Farm football pitch in Keffi, began with exchange of possessions and
purposeful attack from but both sides couldn’t find the target.
Nura could have given the hosts the lead in the eight minutes when put through on the run but Adewumi Femi recovered quickly to block his effort from edge of the box.
United responded with a brilliant attack but Jerome was upended by Sanusi on his way to goal. Osas initiated a set piece as he laid John John whose shot was blocked by the wall and Femi’s rebound goes wide.
The hosts get their goal two minutes afterwards when Akeem raced down from right flank, his cross to the box was redirected to Nura by Femi who intend to slide and block and the striker shoot past stretching Shola Shehsere in goal for United.
The Confluence State club almost restore parity in the 18th minutes as John Jerome’s shot from edge of the box went inches from goal.
The hosts could have scored themselves from United’s pressure a minute later when Ibrahim Mustapha dropped the ball behind the hosts’ defense and Abara’s wayward clearance almost result to an own but Alloy dived to full length to rescue.
United piled up the pressure on their hosts winning three corners in the process but FRSC defense hold on to their slender lead.
It became a ding dong affair in the closing stage of the half as both Alloy and Sheshere were put to test at both ends but situation remained the same as both sides head into dugout with a goal separating them.
Kogi United make early changes as the second half get underway with Bashir Chatto replacing injured Idris Muye and that would add more flair and control for United in the midfield as Chatto get on well with Mayaki and Osas to push FRSC to their half.
That combination almost paid off with a brilliant attack masterminded by Chatto who located Mayaki on the run but the captain’s screamer went off target.
Edeh Phillip could have doubled the lead for FRSC in the 51st minute when his piled effort was tipped to the crossbar by Sheshere and Nura couldn’t make use of the rebound as he skied the ball from close range.
The introduction of Ibrahim Enesi to replace Jerome in the last 20 minutes of the game added bite to United’s attack but FRSC defenders stood their ground as they were clearing all thrown to them by United attackers.
United defender, Musa Stephen took the initiative to join the attack and found a space to take aim at goal but Alloy guessed right to gather his effort.
United were not lucky to get the equalizer with three minutes to full time when Tale’s goal bound cross had beaten
everyone including Alloy but he was left agape as he saw the ball hit the crossbar and rolled out of goal, and Musa Jatau arrived late to tucked in the rebound before Sanusi cleared the line to secure the full points for FRSC.
Speaking after the full time, Head Coach of Kogi United Tunde Abdulrahman who commended his boys for putting up a good fight said the hosts were lucky to survived the match.
The United’s head of technical however charged his boys to look ahead of their final game of the season and give an improved performance against FC Zamfara to cap up a wonderful season.
“It was a good match, we played a good football, dictate the game but my boys were just unlucky to lose this match considering the chances we created and the way we played.
“They (FRSC) were lucky to pick the whole points today because I believe this match would have been good to end in draw with what we give to it.
“We need to quickly forget about this and focus on our last match of the season (at home to FC Zamfara), we’ve gave a good fight for promotion but we couldn’t looking at present situation but I’ve charged the players to end the season well with a good game and victory and that’s what we will prepare to achieve,” Coach Abdulrahman concluded.
His counterpart from FRSC, Emmanuel David said it was a tough moments against good Kogi United side all through the match but happy his was able to record victory which he described as hard earned and a boost to survive the drop.
“It wasn’t an easy game for us, we face too much difficulties till the end, Kogi United really pushed hard and make the game hard but we are happy to win it.
It’s a hard earned result and we still believe the effort we out into it will be enough to survive relegation at the end of the season,’ he said.
Kogi United will wrap up the season with a home game against FC Zamfara while FRSC will hope to secure license to remain in the NNL with a trip to Kaduna United next weekend.

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