A late goal from Adamu Hassan was enough to earn Nasarawa United a 1-1 draw with visitors Kano Pillars in the Nigeria Professional Football League week three on Sunday afternoon.
Pillars took the lead in the 46th minute of the game through substitute Nyima Nwagua
The Solid Miners found their equaliser with 8 minutes remaining as Hassan did well to turn home David Ehiaghe low pass into the back of the net.
United coach Bala Nikyu named a full-strength side – including the fearsome Silas Nwankwo-Chinedu Ohanachom-Aliyu Abubakar trident up front – but saw his side frustrated by Pillars’ compact shape.
Pillars boss Lionel Soccoia started the quartet of Rabiu Ali, Ebuka David, Ali Mallam and Yusuf Maigoro.
It was an end to stuff in Lafia. Pillars keeper Idris Ibrahim spilled Reuben Nicodemus’ cross and took it at the second time of asking on four minutes.
It was the turn of Pillars to create their own chance in the sixth minute through Ebuka David, who held off Ugochukwu Chigozie before getting a shot.
Goalkeeper Idris Ibrahim came off his line like ‘Goliath’ to frustrate Ikenna Offor from close range. A quality cross from Abubakar Abdullahi was met by the forward but he failed to beat the keeper.
United definitely had more joy in the Pillars half of the pitch, with their fast movement.
Nasarawa United keeper Umar Danlami pulled off a one handed save from Ali Mallam’s strike in the 43rd minute.
The duo of Aliyu Abdullahi and Ikenna Offor missed easy chances to score as the first stanza ended goalless.
Coach Soccoia brought on Nwagua for the ineffective Ebuka David at the beginning of the second half and it turned out to be an inspired substitution.
Nwagua turked the ball home in a crowded box for the opener. It appeared the ball touched the arm of the striker but he didn’t mind for his first goal of the season.
Powerful Nyima caused problems for the Nasarawa United backline with his direct approach.
Bodies were thrown to Pillars territory as United searched for the equaliser.
Hassan failed to direct his header to the back of the net. He should have scored with fourteen minutes left on the clock.
Ex Golden Eaglets winger King Osanga climbed off the Nasarawa United bench in the 77th minute. His presence helped the Lafia based side.
Osanga was involved in the Nasarawa United equaliser. He started the move that resulted in the goal. David Ehiaghe set up Hassan for an 82nd minute equaliser.
Defender Abubakar Abdullahi got on the end of Osanga’s dangerous cross and couldn’t direct his header to the net at injury time.
A last gasp winner almost settled the entertaining game. King Osanga’s well struck free kick hit the woodwork.
The result extended Pillars’ unbeaten streak against Nasarawa United to seven league matches.
Nasarawa United now sit in second with seven points ahead of Pillars in ninth with five.