A first-half goal by Michael Tochukwu sealed a convincing victory for the Solid Miners over hard-fighting Wikki Tourists FC in the matchday 29 clash decided at a rain drenched Jos International Stadium, Plateau State, on Sunday evening.
With so much at stake for the Solid Miners in the NPFL clash, it was vital for the hosts to play at a high intensity and Ini Edem showed his intention with a dangerous ball into the box after being freed up by King Osanga but got his cross cleared out in the early stages of the game.
In the sixth minute, Michael Tochukwu broke the deadlock after he was beautifully connected by former junior international, King Osanga from the flank, to put the home side ahead, his eighth goal of the current campaign.
Wikki went in search of an equalizer and almost drew level before the half-hour mark but their effort from Abubakar Aliyu was well dealt with by Ameh Godwin in goal for United.
Sunday Okereke thought he had increased the tally for United after he tucked the ball past the advancing goalkeeper, Mohammed Galadima, but was unlucky as the ball rolled past the face of the goal for a goalkick.
Then, Osanga saw his freekick blocked by a Wikki defender and then Sunday Okereke latched onto a rebound but was unable to keep the ball down.
The Wikki goal tender was again forced out of his territory to head out a dangerous ball.
After the restart, United continued with their dominance but were unable to convert their chances.
Moments later, Wikki launched a counter attack to alter the scoreline but Ameh Godwin pulled off a fine save off a clever ball from Ridwan Adeshina.
Twelve minutes before regulation time, Ridwan had the visitors’ best chance, but Ameh produced a world-class save to deny the dangerous attacker.
The United goalkeeper again stretched sensationally to prevent an equalizing goal in the additional time.
Nasarawa United remained compact for the rest of the game to clinch the three points and resuscitated their efforts to finish the league season among the top ten teams as they have now moved to 12th on the league table with 38 points.
They would next take on Enyimba FC in a matchday thirty clash in Aba, Abia State, on Saturday, 28th May, 2022.
Coach Bala Nikyu(NAS)
“It’s a good match. Before kick-off, I expected it to be explosive because Wikki knew they would drop points should they lose to us.
“We started the game on a slow note due to the freezing weather but got acclimatized midway and held onto that till regulation time.
“Jos remains a fertile ground for us and we are comfortable here pending the completion of works on our home stadium in Lafia.”
Coach Kabiru Dogo (WIK)
“So far so good, it’s a good game for both sides, just that Nasarawa United were lucky to get an early goal.
“My boys played very well, but it wasn’t their day.
“I have a good working relationship with Nasarawa United and Nasarawa State, and I respect them a lot.”