FC Taraba stood their ground to record a controversial 2-1 win over Kogi United in the Matchday Two of Nigeria National League, NNL (Group A2).
The encounter played at the weaned Jolly Nyame Stadium in Jalingo had much of talking points that almost overshadowed the final result.
The hosts who are returning their traditional home ground for the first time after playing the entire last season in Katsina-Ala, took the lead in 21 minutes when Brain Isaiah poked home from inside the box after United defenders failed to clear from corner.
They doubled their lead in the 57 minutes when Bernard Mandela had his rebounded effort went through side of the porous net after Shola Sheshere had parried the first.
Kogi United who were dealt a big blow with early injury suffered by debutant Joseph Aisa pushed for a comeback, creating series of opportunities to reduced the tally as quickly as possible but were denied by FC Taraba’s goalkeeper, Samuel Chinedu who put his body on the line on many occasions.
Coach Tunde Abdulrahman brought in Francis Savior and Etuk Akanimo for Eghe Osas and Daniel Frimpong for United late on, and that brought more power and control for the visitors.
United would then get what eventually became the consolation goal with four minutes to end the game.
John Jerome arrived at far end of the post to head in Simon Timothy’s cross- the goal which raised questions from Taraba’s bench after beating the keeper and effortless sailed through the equally weak net on the other post.
United’s final effort at goal came off another team effort but Edet Obasesam’s shot was saved by Chinedu to give Taraba the match points.
Coach Abdulrahman who was disappointed with the outcome admitted that profligacy and early substitution affected his side’s game plan but believed the Confluence State Boys would show positive response in their next game.
“Its very unfortunate we lost this game because we were determined to get the three points, but some mistakes from defense make them to scored two goals ahead of us but its not that they were better than us.
the game but lots of lessons learned from this, I believe we will be back more stronger,” Abdulrahman concluded.
Coach John Chindo of FC Taraba who was delighted with his side’s victory commended his players for holding off a ‘strong and tactical’ Kogi United just as he believed the victory could signal a new twist for FC Taraba.
“Its a big win for us and I must congratulate my boys for their attitude, especially in the second half.
“At some point we were a little bit down but I told them to hold on not to allow Kogi United pushing, because they are very strong and tactical on ball, I’m really happy we were able to do it, but it wasn’t easy.
“We’ve made lots changes to this team as against how it looked last season and I believe this win will help forge ahead well,” he said.
Kogi United will be drawn bye for the next fixtures while FC Taraba visits FC Zamfara.