Football: Kogi Narrowly Lost ‘Battle of Uniteds’ to Kaduna

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Kogi United’s second half push was not enough for them on Sunday as they lost 0-1 to Kaduna United in the Matchday Five of Nigeria National League, NNL.

Captain Hamisu Shamsudeen’s 37th minutes strike was enough for the hosts to claim the total points in the grueling match played at the Township Stadium, Kaduna.

The Confluence Boys were on the back foot at the formative stage of the game as the duo of Abubakar Danlami and goalkeeper Salisu Ogbe put them in the game with their brilliant block and save.

The Lokoja based side could only found their rhythm at about 25th minutes of the match, but couldn’t take their chances through Emmanuel Onuh who shoot wide from edge of the box and Matthew Idoko’s couldn’t connect well with John Jerome in another attack.

While the tempo and composure of both sides was at par, Kaduna United initiated an attack from right flank and Songo Paul’s cross met Shamsudeen in Kogi United’s box. The attacker turned Stephen Musa around before founding the net to give the host the lead.

A quick response from Kogi United could have resulted to an equalizer in the 40th minutes when Wilson Tony’s shot was parried to the path of Jerome whose rebounded effort goes wide.

With just a minute to end the first half but Idoko miss-timed Jerome’s cross that had beaten everyone including the keeper, even the goal wouldn’t have stood as the AR1 had flagged him offside.

There were few talking moments in the second half as several calls from match officials didn’t allowed Kogi United to enjoy the game.

The boys of Coach Tunde Abdulrahman’s side would still showed spirit to stage a come back in the latter stage of the match with scoring efforts produced by Jerome, Onuh and Tony Wilson, but Kaduna defended with all they could.

Coach Abdulrahman who expressed disappointment with the outcome, noted that his boys couldn’t respond quickly to their hosts’ pressure adding that the pitch condition denied them to enjoy the match.

The former Wikki Tourists handler however promised that his wards will be mentally ready ahead of their next game in Damaturu.

“We didn’t do well enough today, I must be frank with you, our reaction was slow and we have to quickly work on that, technically they (Kaduna United) were aided by referees and the pitch did a bit damage to our our plans.

“We will go back home and correct the lapses before our next game, I’m sure we will not lose these two games on the row, we will be ready against Yobe Stars,” he said.

Kogi United currently 8th on the log will also be on away duty in their next game against Yobe Desert Stars in Damaturu.

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