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Kogi United concluded their first round campaign of the Nigeria National League, NNL with a slender 1-0 home win over FC Taraba in Lokoja on Saturday.
Substitute Eghe Osas converted a 37th minute penalty to give the Confluence State’s club the victory over a relegation threatening Taraba side.
United could have open the lead inside six minutes when Micheal Bolaji failed to head in Wilson Tony’s corner.
FC Taraba keeper Zaharadeen Usman parried another effort from Bolaji at close range in the 12th minutes.
The visitors kept defending with all they could as they survived series of Kogi United’s attack till half an hour mark of the match.
Kogi United won a penalty in the 32nd minutes after Emeka Iwuji was pushed in the box when he initiated a corner with Bolaji.
After Iwuji’s treatment from the foul and FC Taraba players’ walking to the sideline, substitute Eghe Osas stepped forward to covert the spot to give Confluence state club deserved lead in the 37th minute.
The goal seem to have woken FC Taraba from their slumber as they attacked from the flank but Ajala Olusola’s half volley we t off target with two minutes to end the first half.
Kogi United had a goal ruled offside at the stoppage of half time when Bolaji was appealed to have being a yard offside before taking a cross for John John to tap in.
The second half witnessed much of exchange possessions as FC Taraba pushed through for an equalizer and Kogi United worked hard to increase their lead, but the game could not produce another goal due to profligacies in front of goal and goalkeeper’s brilliance.
Head coach of Kogi United, Tunde Abdulrahman who expressed disappointment with his side’s performed noted that the club would embark on a serious reshuffling during the break so as to achieve their target at the end season.
He however called for patience and continued support from the teaming fans as the club would get better in the second stanza of the season
“I knew we would win but this not the scoreline I expected, we wasted too many opportunities and couldn’t raised the game in the second half.
“We need to be serious and busy in the break, I will sir down with the Management and see the need to inject new players into this team as I noticed we don’t have matured players that can take responsibility.
“The team I met on ground was not really matured but we thank God to have accrued those points, I want to appeal to the fans, the management and supporters to keep believing in us, I’m sure our second round performance will be much better than this,” he said.
His counterpart from FC Taraba, Joshua Daniel said he’s satisfied with his Boys’ performance despite the defeat just as he expressed confidence that the club would beat the drop.
“It was a nice game, we lost gallantly, Kogi United were lucky to win but I’m ok with what my boys played, may be we could have played draw but that’s football.
Our internal challenges has been affecting us for a while now, but we expect that to change in the second round, so I’m sure we will survive relegation,” coach Daniel said.
Kogi United have however garnered 14 points and will be taking on FC Taraba in a reverse Fixtures when the league resumes in two weeks’ time.
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