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Two second half goals from John John and Murtala Telele gave Sokoto United a hard earned 2-0 victory over visiting Kogi United in the Week Three of the Nigeria Natuonal League, NNL encounter played in Saturday.
Kogi United looked spirited and purposeful throughout the first duration of the game as they exchange possession with their hosts.
John Jerome, Samson Pius and Bolaji Micheal’s combination in attack was a great menace for Sokoto’s defenders.
Goalkeeper Salisu Ogbe who was favored to captain Kogi United against his former side made two important point blank saves to deny his former employers and even the game at half time.
But it was another story in the last stanza as Kogi United’s attack were cut short on numerous occasions by match officials who have been intimidated by the home fans before restarting the game.
The boys of Coach Ishaya Jatau later gave in to Sokoto’ pressure with just three minutes after an hour mark as Stephen Musa allowed John John much of space to shoot past Salisu Ogbe.
The Confluence Boys were not perturbed by trailing their opponents as they took the game to them which almost resulted to an equalizer when Destiny Ashadi dribbled past two opponents and made his way to Sokoto’s half. His final pass met Bolaji Micheal on the edge but the rugged winger was adjudged to have been offside before taking a shot.
And in the 74th minutes, Murtala Telele converted a spot kick for Sokoto United after Stephen Musa appeared to have handled the ball in the box.
All efforts for the Governor Yahaya Bello boys to claim a comeback proved abortive as their moves were punctured by referees’ call for offside. Although Abiodun Afolabi and Bawa Umoru had chances to score but keeper Ayofe denied them with great saves.
Coach Ishaya Jatau expressed disappointment over his side’s defeat claiming that the match officials yielded to pressure and allowed Sokoto United to gain balance in the game. The former Inwanyanwu Nationale striker however believed all hope is not lost for his side to claim something meaningful through the season.
“It was unfortunate, I’m not too happy with the result, my boys tried, but they couldn’t do much especially in the second half, their first goal was ok, but you could see that the referees were under pressure with the home fans attitude, we’ve to leave that beyond us and focus on our next engagement quickly, I still have much confidence on my players and hope our performance on the road would turn to good results soon,” Jatau said.
His colleague for Sokoto United, Abubakar Hamza was happy with his side’s win which he described as relief. The former Niger Tornadoes coach admitted that Kogi United gave his team a real threat but just was lucky to get the first goal that gave his side confidence.
Kogi United will next play Kaduna United at home in their next league game but after their Federation Cup match against Wikki Tourists on Wednesday in Kaduna.
Credit: Wale Mustapha
Media Officer, Kogi United FC
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