Abel Bobby’s second half strike was not enough as gallant Kogi United lost 2-1 to Kwara United in an all North Central derby of the Bet9ja Nigeria National League clash in Ilorin on Saturday.
The interesting Northern Conference encounter, played at the Kwara State Stadium, saw the hosts take the lead in the 35th minute as Michael Ohanu converted a penalty after Ismail’s Maiyaki was adjudged to have handled the ball from Kazeem Oseni’s cross.
Ohanu doubled the lead for the Harmony Boys with the last attack of the first half as he guided his head well past Salisu Ogbe from Solomon Owello’s corner.
Kogi United reduced the deficit two minutes into restart after Abel Bobby capitalized on goalkeeper Jonah Usman’s howler as he tapped into an empty net.
Salisu Ogbe denied the hosts from increasing their lead with series of superb saves to put the game in close distance for Kogi United to claim anything meaningful from the match.
Both John John and Matthew Idoko almost leveled the score for Kogi United on different occasions.
Head Coach of Kogi United, Tunde Abdulrahman, believes the result was not a through reflection of his side’s performance just as he challenged some calls from match officials, which denied Kogi United from achieving any meaningful result.
Abdulrahman said: “Well, performance wise, I’m very satisfied with what my boys played.
“I knew we would find it difficult to get through, but they really matched them (Kwara United) well, just that some decisions didn’t go well for us, but we defended well to put off any of their late push and I think that’s huge positive for us that we will build on in our subsequent game.”
The Technical Adviser of Kwara United, John Sam Obuh, who expressed relief with his side’s victory, noted that Kogi United gave them a tough game, adding that the victory has put Kwara United close to picking the ticket to the Premier League.
Obuh said: “It’s a good match.
“Kogi United played us very well.
“hey are one of the good sides we have played at home.
“They gave us a good fight, but we have to come out very hard because we’ve seen the way they played when we first met.
“Well, this has moved us closer to where we want to be, but I don’t want to be too confident we have to get the job done until the last day.”
Kogi United will take on Yobe Desert Stars at home in their next game, while Kwara United will travel to Kaduna to face Kaduna United.