Enyimba Football Club failed to score for the first time in six NPFL fixtures, drawing 0-0 with Jigawa Golden Stars at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium on Sunday evening.
The People’s Elephant had found the net at least once in their last five appearances but failed to find their way past a resolute Jigawa side in a feisty contest in north-western Nigeria.
Goalkeeper Victor Sochima denied Enyimba the perfect start they would have wanted, rushing out to block Dayo Ojo’s strike following a smooth build-up by Sadiq Abubakar and Tosin Omoyele after four minutes.
Omoyele saw his effort cleared four minutes later, while Ali Musa hit the side-netted at the other end in a highly eventful opening.
The hosts felt a heavy blow midway through the half when influential right back, Bilal Yakubu, limped off clutching his hamstring, but his replacement Halilu Obadeki caused a different kind of troubles with his throw-in prowess.
It was from one of his long throws that Abdullahi Lala was set free at the far post, but the number 11 missed his kick, while Austin Oladapo attempted a long-range freekick to bring a truly end-to-end half to a satisfying climax.
John Noble was called into action early into the restart, keeping focus to stop Yusuf Abdullahi’s ferocious drive, before Omoyele threatened with a volley on the hour.
Fatai Osho introduced Anayo Iwuala, Samad Kadiri, and Cyril Olisema in a drastic triple substitution, and the substitutes were heavily involved in what could have been a late twist.
Anayo initiated an attack with a characteristic solo run before Kadiri sent a cross to the far post. Olisema appeared to have been pushed as he attempted to head in, but the referee saw no wrong as the entertaining closed in a nail-biting stalemate.
FATAI OSHO’S POST MATCH COMMENTS
“A point gained on the road looking at the state of this pitch. I will give a lot of big kudos to them (the players) because we couldn’t function the way we wanted to function. They had to improvise a lot, a lot of energy was used.
“We tried as much as possible to see how we could put our passes together, we couldn’t get into our rhythm at all and the opponents it’s like they are used to this kind of pitch. They looked a bit comfortable more than we were and for us to have ground out this draw is truly something we have to give it to the players.”
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