Nasarawa United Thrash ABS FC 3-0 To Reignite NPFL Hopes

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Nasarawa United reignited their hopes for a return to the elite domestic football league with an emphatic 3-0 humiliation over visiting ABS FC of Ilorin in the match-day nine fixture of the 2023/24 Nigeria National League Season decided at the Lafia City Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

With mixed results clouding the first stanza of the campaign, the Solid Miners produced a much-improved performance against a side that held them to a barren draw in the first-leg in Ilorin, about a month ago, with Anas Yusuf scoring a superb opener before the half-time after benefiting from Abubakar Abdullahi’s assist in the 27th minute.

ABS went into the game 7th on the Group C table, and had come with an intention to either win or share the spoils, but the Lafia City Stadium was not the right venue to begin their second stanza party.

Despite plenty of huffing and puffing from the visitors, the home side increased the tally to 2-0 following a beautifully struck goal by substitute, Adamu Hassan, after Mubarak Hussain’s effort was deflected toward his path, six minutes into the restart.

The deadly attacker was on target again in the 61st minute after acrobatically poking home Habibu Alakija’s pinpoint delivery, to bring score to 3-0, a performance that earned him the Man-of-the-Match recognition.

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Ali Farinyaro nearly reduced the deficit for the Ilorin-based side but his long range effort was contained by Goalkeeper, Ameh Godwin.

The result was no more than the home side deserved for a superbly organized counter-attacking display, with the result moving them to the summit of the Group C table with 17 points ahead of major contenders, Wikki Tourists FC of Bauchi and El-Kanemi Warriors FC of Maiduguri who both have a game each at hand.

Nasarawa United will travel to Abuja to face NAF FC in their next game on Saturday, next week.

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POST-MATCH REACTIONS

COACH USMAN ADAMS(NAS) “Congratulations to my boys for the heartwarming victory. We pushed and it yielded us a deserved result.

“It was a game plan that worked well for us. We were not very impressive in the attack in the first phase of the league, with our highest goal margin not exceeding two per game, so, we decided to recruit fresh legs who could help us in the attack.

“The fresh legs in the game today, Eneji, Okonkwo and Umar showed class and poise while Alakija is one of the prospects from our Youth team. They all did well.

“We will follow every game as it comes, and we hope to maintain how we started the second half of the league campaign because our desire is to return to the Nigeria Premier Football League as soon as possible. This is a mandate of the Governor and Government of Nasarawa State.”

COACH UMAR DANLAMI(ABS): “It’s a disappointing result for us today, even though I wasn’t really expecting much due to the fact that we were exposing about four newly acquired players who are yet to acclimatize to our pattern of play.

“Nasarawa United had their game plan and it worked perfectly well for them, so, I congratulate them on the win. We will return home and restrategize ahead of our next game.”

ADAMU HASSAN(MOTM/NAS) “Alhamdullilah, I feel truly excited that I helped my team to win today’s game. My desire always is to make my team win games and I will keep doing that until we return to the Premier League.

“Starting from the bench does not ignite any negative feeling in me. Whenever the Coach tells me to play, I will, and will deploy my experience to the advantage of my team.”