Match Day 25: 3SC beat ABS FC 2-0 for fans to heave sigh of relief; Nasarawa United beat Enyimba 1-0


Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan on Sunday defeated visiting Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) FC of Ilorin 2-0 in a 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football League(NPFL) Match Day 25 fixture.
The fixture was a tension-soaked match which saw the two teams putting on a good performance.
3SC scored their two goals through Ibrahim Adebayo in the 67th minute and Sunday Faleye in the fourth minute of final added time.
Adebayo had scored through a header to a free-kick from the left side by Wasiu Jimoh.
3SC had earlier introduced Faleye and Tayo Adebogun as replacement for Abu Azeez and Jimoh at the beginning of the second half of the game.
The introduction of the duo had fortified the team’s midfield and attack, leading to Faleye scoring the second goal.
Coach Henry Makinwa of ABS FC later told newsmen after the match that his heart bleeds for Nigerian football.
He, however, declined to make further explanation on his statement.
On his part, Chinedu Ajanah, the ABS FC captain, said his team fought very hard to secure the three points of the game but were unlucky in the long run.
“Both teams played very well and had their chances. 3SC converted theirs and we failed to utilise.
“Our team has always prepared hard for its games, and we will continue with such in our next games,’’ he said.
Speaking also, Edith Agoye, 3SC’s Head Coach, stated that it was a relief that his team got the desired result, having worked very hard for it.
“In every football match, you are under pressure. All you need to do is work very hard and convert your chances.
“The ABS FC team is a very good team with a very good coach. That was even noticeable from the first 15 minutes, when the coach introduced some new players into the game to win the midfield.
“The newly-introduced players fortified the midfield and made it difficult for us to break through. We also had to change tactics to break in,” he said.
Also, Promise Ebiakwu, the 3SC captain, admitted that they had to work hard to ensure they secured the game’s three points.
He commended the team’s technical crew and the players for their commitment, saying the introduction of some players into the game by the crew ensured victory.
Ebiakwu however urged 3SC fans to be patient with their team, adding that they would continue to work harder to save the team from relegation.
3SC, which was before the game at the bottom of the table with 26 points, are now 18th on the log with 29 points.
3SC will take on Rivers United in their Match Day 26 fixture.
Also, hosts Nasarawa United Football Club on Sunday defeated Enyimba International FC of Aba 1-0 in Lafia in a game marred by crowd unrest at the end of the first half.
The 2016/2017 Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) week 25 fixture at the Lafia Township Stadium, which was watched by a massive crowd, was, however, entertaining in spite of the disturbance.
The fast-paced first half witnessed many missed goal scoring chances on the part of both sides.
In the same vein, the match also saw the referee issuing two yellow cards each to both teams.
However, during the half time break, centre referee Usman Isa, his fellow officials and the entire Enyimba team could not leave the pitch because of crowd disturbance.
On resumption of the second half, the home side became more aggressive and were rewarded with an early goal scored by Abdulrahman Bashir in the 48th minute.
In spite of efforts by both teams to score, the scoreline remained 1-0 in favour of the home side until the final whistle.
Speaking to newsmen after the encounter, Gbenga Ogunbote, the Head Coach of Enyimba of Aba, lamented the fact that their game plan of securing a point from the match failed.
He attributed the failure to the doggedness and determination of the home team to secure the three points at all cost.
“It was an intense encounter. We thought we were going to get, at worst, a point on the road, and then consolidate on our home games but unfortunately they stood against all odds. No problem, we will fight on,” the coach said.
He also blamed his team’s carelessness for the lone goal conceded.
Ogunbote, however, said his coaching team would go back to sort out the defensive issues plaguing the team, ahead of the remaining 13 games of the season.
He said this would enable them push for a ticket to play on the continent next season.
“We knew we were going to play a strong team and they have always been giving us hard times. Even when they came to our home, it was always a difficult match.
“So, it’s payback time today, and there is no problem with that,” Ogunbote said.


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