Kwara United Football Club of Ilorin on Sunday began a new life at the Ondo State Sports Complex in Akure with a 2-0 win over El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri.
Kwara United had been forced to find an alternative home ground after the Nigeria Professional Football League organisers did not find their Kwara State Sports Complex venue in Ilorin suitable.
They however used the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan in the first round of the 2022/2023 NPFL campaign, only to change base to Akure for the second round.
In this Group A Match Day 10 fixture in Akure, however, they did not get off on a fast lane as the first half of the game ended goalless.
Anthony Omaka however scored the first goal of the game in the 78th minute during a goalmouth scramble, before Samad Kabir sealed victory in the 89th minute.
Kwara United’s Head Coach, Kabir Dogo, in a chat with newsmen after the match thanked football fans in Akure for their solidarity and support.
Dogo, who is a former coach of the Akure-based Sunshine Stars, added that the 2022/2023 league competition was a very difficult one in view of its being an abridged one.
He said: “Everybody is looking for ways of surviving, and I commend my players for their doggedness from the first blast of the referee’s whistle till the end.
“Our opponents are not a bad side.
“We defeated them in the first leg and we have now stamped our authority on them in the reverse fixture.”
His El-Kanemi Warriors counterpart, Hamza Abara, on his part said his team never bargained for the outcome of the encounter.
Abara however blamed their defeat on fatigue as a result of his team’s late arrival in Akure due to the distance between Maiduguri and Akure.
He said: “We arrived here around 5pm on Saturday, and we only had a warm-up and not a training session, which was not good for us, all the way from Maiduguri.”