Tochukwu Michael’s first half goal from the spot was enough for Nasarawa United to squeeze past Dakkada FC 1-0 in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) week 25 match played yesterday at the New Jos township stadium.
Although it was a slim win, the victory came as a huge relief to Nasarawa United who had suffered a humiliating 6-1 defeat at Akwa United in week 24.
Nasarawa United started the contest strongly but had to wait up to the 30th minute when their leading goalscorer, Tochukwu Michael, converted from the penalty spot for his sixth goal of the season.
Dakkada defender, Harrison Ibukun, was adjudged by the referee to have handled the ball in the box off Chinedu Ohanachom’s header.
With a goal in their kitty, Nasarawa United continued to push for more goals till the end of the half.
On resumption, Dakkada brought on Aniekan Ekpe in place of Muritala Lawal in the 55th minute just as Nasarawa United made a double substitution in the 72nd minute with injured Ohanachom and Ikenna Offor going off for Ifeanyi Benjamin and Mohammed Shammasu respectively.
In the 80th minute, Etido Dan’s long range effort went off the target to the relief of the hosts.
Two minutes later, Adamu Hassan and Saraki Ibrahim took over from King Osanga and Sunday Okereke respectively as Nasarawa United fought to double their lead.
But there were no goals till the referee’s final whistle.
The slim victory has lifted Nasarawa United to 12th position with 32 points while Dakkada drops to 15th place with 27 points.
In a post match interview, the goalscorer for Nasarawa United, Michael Tochukwu, said he was happy to score the goal that earned his team the maximum points.
“I feel okay. I want to keep scoring goals to get my team back. Recently, we have been missing points and matches. So, I am happy that my goal made the difference today (yesterday).
“We still have more games to play so I am quite optimistic that we will get better results in future,” he assured.
Meanwhile, Coach Umar Danlami of Dakkada FC said it was an equal contest but Nasarawa United were lucky to run away with the three points.
“It was a match of equal halves. They took the first half and we took the second. We had our chances but we failed to convert them,” said Danlami.