A goal each from Chinedu Ohanachom in the 44th minute, substitute, Anas Yusuf in the 73rd minute and Adamu Hassan in the 87th minute respectively ensured that Nasarawa United are through to the round of 16 of the Aiteo Federation Cup, formerly known as the FA Cup.
The Solid Miners had to fight hard to overcome 2nd Division League side, Bendel Insurance of Benin City at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, on Thursday afternoon.
Bendel Insurance which enjoyed a larger portion of ball possession in the first-half had come from behind to draw level at 1-1 in the 62nd minute after disturbing Zaidu Ayuba drove in a dangerous corner kick that caused some ripples in the United’s area before finding its way into the back of the net, a situation that saw the referee awarding it as an own goal against Michael Tochukwu.
Nasarawa United will now face North- Central bitter rivals, Plateau United FC who beat Jigawa Golden Stars 3-0 in the other fixture in the round of 16 of the oldest and main football single-elimination tournament in Nigeria at a yet-to-be decided date and venue.
But until then, the Solid Miners will now focus attention on their next league match against FC Ifeanyi Ubah in Nnewi, Anambra State, on Sunday, 11th July, 2021, by 4pm.
Nasarawa United are 2nd on the league table with 55 points, two points behind Akwa United who are leading the table after 31 round of matches.
POST- MATCH REACTIONS:
Coach Bala Nikyu(NAS):
“Thank God for the victory. Before this game, I told my wards that Bendel Insurance are a good side, even though they play in the lower division, and, of course, they saw today, what I told them.
“Now, we are meeting Plateau United in the next round after they defeated Jigawa Golden Stars, but whoever we are meeting doesn’t matter to us as we are ready to play.”
Coach Greg Ikhenoba(BEN): It’s unfortunate that we lost this game.
“My defence’s lack of concentration in the game proved costly for us.
“However, Nasarawa United are a good side and that is why they are where they are now in the league – their superior experience came to bear.
“But we take the outcome in good condition and we will return to the drawing board to amend our mistakes.”
Ojo Tolulope(BEN) 60′
Jelili Afisu (BEN)68′
Evans Ifeatu (NAS)79′
NASARAWA UNITED LINE-UP: Galadima Mohammed, Abubakar Abdullahi, Emeka Onyema, Evans Ifeatu, Ebuka Anaekwe, Joshua Obaje(Aliyu Abdullahi 49′), Sadiq Abdulrazaq(Haggai Katoh 49′), Dauda Maigishiri, Michael Tochukwu(Anas Yusuf 69′), Chinedu Ohanachom(Silas Nwankwo 49′), Adamu Hassan
UNUSED SUBS: Danlami Umar, Chigozie Obasi, Ini Edem, Victor Okoro, Bashiru Usman.