Bright Start for Kogi United, Beat Shekarau Babes 1-0 in NNL Opener
Kogi United began their new Nigeria National League, NNL season with a 1-0 home win over newcomers, Shekarau Babes FC from Kano.
In a match played at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja on Saturday, much was expected from the Coach Ishaya Jatau led team after the state owned women Premier League side, Confluence Queens had set the tone of victory beating Adamawa Queens by similar score line.
And it didn’t take United much longer to make their home fans expect another scintillating performance in the 8th minute when Micheal Bolaji tried a 20 yard shot that went an inch off target.
But five minutes later, John Jerome wouldn’t miss another effort as he smashed in the ball from Chindo Babangida’s tailored pass to give Kogi United the deserved lead.
The visitors grew into the game gradually but couldn’t test Kogi United’s goal until the second half when Rahman Mohammed tried a shot from the edge of the box which goalkeeper Ogundare Detan had to gather twice to make a safe.
The Confluence state club would however missed other scoring chances through Ismail Mayaki, Ashadi Destiny and Bolaji, but that wouldn’t matter as the home side went home with the maximum points.
Coach of Kogi United, Ishaya Jatau expressed satisfaction with the victory which he described as important just as he gave credit to their Kano-based opponents who put up a strong challenge just as he believed his boys would develop as the season progresses.
“We give thanks to God for this victory, is for the fans and our supporters, its important for us to start with a win which I believe will help us get confidence,” begins the former Inwanyanwu Nationale striker.
“Shekarau Babes are a very good side, they gave us a real fight and you can see that their playing together for three years reflected in their game, you can as well see my boys weren’t lucky with their missing of begging chances which weren’t acceptable, but I believe we will grow into games, what we want is continuous supports from our fans and well wishers and also urged government to continue give us the necessary encouragement, by the grace of God we will not disappoint,” Jatau said.
His counterpart from Shekarau Babes, Kabiru Haliru Mazado hailed Kogi United for the experienced displayed and agreed that they deserved the victory.
He said inexperience of the league affected his boys but believed they would mature through the season.
Kogi United will next travel to Jos for their Week Two encounter against Mighty Jets.