Two young sensations, Joshua John and Emmanuel Ogbole scored in each half of a pulsating Group ‘A’ Abridged Nigeria Premier Football League match-day nine encounter as their goals secured a crucial 2-0 victory for Nasarawa United over Remo Stars and move them out of the drop zone.
In what was a nervy encounter at the temporarily adopted home of the Solid Miners, the New Jos Stadium, United took an early lead in the 8th minute after constantly improving midfielder, Joshua John, powerfully headed home King Osanga’s corner kick in what was the youngster’s debut league goal.
The Solid Miners were forced to effect a change five minutes before the interval after goalkeeper, Jerry Isaac, had to be rushed to the hospital after picking up a knock trying to save a deadly ball inside his territory, with Ameh Godwin taking his place.
Two minutes into the resumption, another youngster, Emmanuel Ogbole, nudged off a Remo defender before striking a thunderbolt with his weaker left foot beyond the grasp of goalkeeper, Kayode Bankole, to make it 2-0 for the hosts, and the first league goal for the attacker this season.
Remo Stars regrouped in search of redemption, with the trio of Andy Okpe, Godwin Odibo and Oluwaseun Odunsi all threatening the United’s goal area but to no avail.
United held on for the deserved victory. The result moves them up to 8th place in Group ‘A’, one point above the drop zone after taking six points from their last three games in what is Coach Bala Nikyu’s stabilization process.
The 2022/23 Abridged Nigeria Premier Football League Season will go on a three-week break and will resume after Nigeria’s General Elections, where United are expected to travel to Ikenne, Ogun State, for a return leg clash against 5th-placed Remo Stars.
COACH BALA NIKYU(NAS): “It’s a good result for us today, even though we didn’t start the league as expected.
“The back-to-back home win for us isn’t surprising to us. Two seasons ago, we maintained our second position on the league table until the last day of the league; it’s quite unfortunate that we are where we are for now.
“However, we still have the believe that the second round will be favourable to us.
“We have plans to strengthen the team during the break in order to up our game in the second phase of the league.
“In all honesty, Jos has been a wonderful home away from home for us, and even if we return back to our original home ground, we will still cherish every moment we have spent here.
COACH DANIEL OGUNMODEDE(REMO): “This isn’t a favorable result for us. Nasarawa United got early chances and took advantage of them, while we didn’t take ours when we had them.
“It’s not a good way for us to end the first stanza of the league campaign, but we take it in good faith with the hope to turn around the situation during the second half of the league season.
“I wouldn’t say my boys didn’t play to instructions, they weren’t just efficient enough carrying out instructions, neither did they show enough dedication and enthusiasm until we conceded those goals.
“We are conscious of the position we are in now, not good for a team like ours. We had the opportunity to end the first stanza among the top two teams, but it’s unfortunate this is where we are.”