Nasarawa Utd Pummel Heartland FC as Aliyu Abdullahi Wins MVP Award

May 24 06:52 2021

Nasarawa United continued their 100% start to the second stanza of the 2020/21 Nigeria Professional Football League season with a dazzling 3-1 demolition of Heartland FC of Owerri during the NPFL matchday twenty-two fixture played at the Lafia City Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The hosts went into the game with so much confidence after picking up six points from their previous two games in Lafia and Bauchi respectively.

United took the game to their visitors, coming close to opening scoring in the 21st minute only for the duo of Aliyu Abdullahi and Chinedu Ohanachom missing two golden opportunities from close ranges.

Five minutes later, Aliyu Abdullahi would make up for his missed chances as he buried the ball beyond the reach of Heartland and Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, after some beautiful step-overs inside the area to register his first goal of the current campaign.

United held onto the scoreline going into the break.

Upon resumption, the Solid Miners increased the tally to two with young sensation, Aliyu Abdullahi, scoring his second goal of the afternoon after he was freed by Silas Nwankwo in the 50th minute.

From that time on, United took total control of proceedings, forcing the visitors’ goalkeeper into several saves.

Not done yet, a goalmouth scramble in the 60th minute saw defensive midfielder, Martins Owolijah, netting the Solid Miners’ third goal of the day, and his first in United’s colours since joining the Lafia-based team during the mid-season break. Again, Silas Nwankwo was the assist provider.

Heartland, however, got their consolation goal through the individual effort of substitute, Chijioke Akunaeto, in the 85th minute, but that was all they could do as the Referee signalled the end of the game, with United winning back-to-back against the South-eastern team this campaign, and their third consecutive victory as they advanced to the 4th position on the league table with 39 points, just two points behind table-topping Kano Pillars, who are the next opponents of the Solid Miners on Wednesday, 26th May, 2021, at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.

POST-MATCH REACTIONS:

Coach Bala Nikyu(NAS): “Football is timely as you know. Whenever it favours you, then you begin to think of how to continue.

“However, our target is not the nine points we have garnered from our last three matches, but to be among the first two or three teams at the end of the season.

“As for my opponent today, no team is written off in the league. You can only be lucky to win over another team, but that doesn’t mean the defeated team is a bad side.

“If you look at Heartland critically, you would discover that they are a mature side who play the ball on the ground.

“For us to survive their onslaughts, we had to bring our youthfullness into play.

“Our next game against Kano Pillars on Wednesday is going to be tough, but Kano Pillars aren’t invincible – We are going to play football against them.”

Aliyu Abdullahi(NAS/MVP):

“I am both very happy and grateful for what I have achieved today. This is a day I will never forget in my life.

“Before the game, I had prayed to score and thankfully enough, God answered my prayer.

“I hope to keep scoring for my team, Nasarawa United.”

CAUTION:

Yellow Card(🟨):

Jimoh Gbadamosi(HEA) 28′

Emmanuel Adachie(HEA) 59′

Chimezie Kelechi(HEA) 62′

NASARAWA UNITED FC LINE-UP: Galadima Mohammed, Chigozie Obasi, Tebo Franklin, Emeka Onyema, Ebuka Anaekwe, Anas Yusuf(King Osanga 71), Martins Owolijah(Victor Okoro 71), Dauda Maigishiri(Michael Tochukwu 84′), Aliyu Abdullahi(Barnabas Imienger Jnr 84′), Chinedu Ohanachom(Adamu Hassan 71′), Silas Nwankwo.

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES:
Danlami Umar(Gk), Abubakar Abdullahi, Sinbad Peter, Sadiq Abdulrazaq.

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