Kwara United’s Michael Ohanu produced a man-of-the-match performance to help his team beat Enyimba International FC of Aba by a lone goal.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the rescheduled Matchday 2 Nigeria Professional Football League encounter was played at the Kwara Stadium Complex in Ilorin on Wednesday.
Kwara United’s goal in the sixth minute, through Jude Stephen, destabilised the visitors’ plan for most part of the first 45 minutes.
Ohanu beat the offside trap to find Stephen, who tapped in from close range for the only goal of the game.
Kalu Nweke would have doubled the lead for the hosts in the 19th minute, but his effort went wide.
He was then close again four minutes later in one of the many wasted opportunities by Kwara United.
Kwara United dominated most of the proceedings in the first half of the match, which the visitors found very hard to curtail.
Enyimba returned better in the second half, but Kwara United maintained the tempo they finished the first stanza with.
Ohanu was again close to increasing the tally in the 54th, but his effort hit the woodwork.
The introduction of both Samson Obi and Martins Usule in the 55th minute by Enyimba, however, increased the pressure on the hosts.
Stephen of Kwara United missed a brilliant opportunity in the 66th minute when his shot went wide.
Kwara United’s Issa Gata, after a brilliant move, found Stephen again in Enyimba’s 18-yard box, but missed his steps to lose the chance to double his team’s tally.
Stephen again hit the woodwork in the 80th minute after a brilliant teamwork to make it the third time the hosts would hit the upright.
Speaking after the match, Enyimba coach, Fatai Osho, described the result as unfortunate, saying his team deserved a little bit better than what they got.
He said Kwara United forced them to play their way, which disrupted his plan.
“We tried to put the ball on the ground to play our own way and we had our chances in the process, but we couldn’t convert them,” Osho said.
He, however, heaped praises on Kwara United for the way they fought and hinted that they deserved their win.
His Kwara United counterpart, Abdullahi Biffo, said Enyimba remained one of the best teams in the country and that beating them was a massive victory for his team.
According to him, the focus is now on FC Ifeanyi Ubah on Sunday in another home match for the team.
“My players were relaxed in the game against Akwa United, because it was our first home match and the 2-0 against Plateau United in the first match of the season got to their heads,” Biffo said.
NAN reports that Kwara United will lock horns with FC Ifeanyi Ubah in a Matchday 6 encounter in Ilorin on Sunday.