Ibrahim Enesi continued his fine scoring form as his lone strike gave Kogi United 1-0 victory over Nigeria Air Force, NAF Rockets FC in the Matchday 11 of Nigeria National League, NNL encounter played at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja on Saturday.
Enesi’s strike from Eghe Osas’ pass was a quick response to amend for the 25th minute’s penalty missed by Daniel Frimpong after Idris Muye was upended in the box.
The NAF boys came into the game with revenge on their minds after losing the reverse fixture at home in the first round.
The Abuja based club quickly settled into the game as they weaved around some passes around United’s goal area but lacked initiative to take aim.
That aroused the hosts’ adrenaline to upped their performance as they gained complete control of the game.
Enesi flicked a header to the waiting hands of NAF’s keeper from John Jerome’s cross after Kingsley Ogwuche combined well with Eghe Osas to initiate an attack.
United got a chance to take the lead after Muye was tripped in the box by Uche Benjamin as he attempted to take aim at goal.
Frimpong stepped forward for the spot kick and blazed wide even after NAF’s goalkeeper, Muyiwa Majayogbe had dived the wrong way.
The hosts didn’t lose the shape as they kept pressing NAF deep to their half to find a way through and that finally came with 10 minutes to end first half.
Osas collected a pass from Ogwuche and took a quick one-two pass with Enesi which was calmly converted by the latter.
United almost doubled their lead in 41st minutes when Frimpong was denied by the crossbar after his volleyed shot beat Majayogbe.
The second half was an end to end stuffs with NAF throwing all they’ve got into fray to salvage a point, Kogi United however dominated most part of it coming close to scoring on number of occasion.
Head Coach of the Confluence state team, Tunde Abdulrahman said his side was complacent against NAF as they choose to entertain the fans rather than killed the game earlier.
Abdulrahman admitted that Kogi United faced an improved NAF side which make the match somehow difficult for the hosts.
He however expressed confidence that the team would brace up ahead of their Aiteo Cup group stage games which begins on Monday in Aba.
“My boys were tensed up today in the sense that it has been a long time we play at home so they want to showcase that they have arrived that’s why they couldn’t put their act together as they normally do.
“They (NAF) played very well, I think they make some inputs to their team but we are happy to have won”
“We stand a lot of chances in the Aiteo Cup, because I believe in the materials I have, we’ve been doing well in the competition and I’m hopeful we will do better in Aba, you know we will be an underdog so it will help us,” Tunde said.
Kogi United Line up vs NAF Rockets: Shola Sheshere, Abubakar Danlami, Alex Ewulum, Kingsley Ogwuche (Victor Tale), Stephen Musa, Moses Kayode, John Jerome, Idris Muye, Ibrahim Enesi (Austin Bentu) Eghe Osas, Daniel Frimpong (Salisu Tanko)
Subs not used: Salisu Ogbe, Tijani Umar, Abubakar Tenimu, Ajala Olushola.