Plateau United have earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Nasarawa United in Jos, thanks to a first-half header from Mohamed Zulkifilu.
In a tightly fought contest, it was Zulkifilu header – the striker’s second goal of the season – after 36 minutes that ultimately proved the difference between the two sides.
As a result, Plateau United have climbed to fifth on the ladder, while Nasarawa United stay top after a first loss of the season.
The hosts should have taken the lead in the 11th minute when Abba Umar got his head on the end of a cross from Abubakar Babawo, but Nasarawa United keeper Danlami Umar pulled off a good point blank save.
Isah Ndala was next to threaten for Plateau United when he picked out Oche Ochowechi, who blazed over the crossbar from just inside the box.
Plateau United deservedly took a first-half lead when Zulkifilu headed in from Amos Gyang’s superb delivery.
The Solid Miners finally had a sniff of Plateau United’s area when Abdullahi Aliyu saw a close-range effort kept out by Chinedu Anozie.
Both sides stepped up the pace after half-time, goalscorer Zulkifilu wasted a precious chance following a quality cross from Abubakar Babawo.
Man of the match, Ndala released a venomous strike which hit the woodwork in the 61st minute as Plateau United continued to run riot.
Seeing the need to sharp the attack, Nasarawa United boss Bala Nikyu threw on Adamu Hassan and Usman Bashir.
Their introduction helped the Solid Miners gained ground as they pegged back the dangerous hosts.
Substitute Moses Effiong should have closed shop for the Abdu Maikaba led side. He fired a smart cross from fellow substitute Sunday Anthony over. It was an unpardonable one. The former Dakkada forward should have buried.
Nasarawa United pushed forward in search of the tried equaliser but were foiled by the Andrew Ikefe led Plateau United back line.
Plateau United visit Warri Wolves in Ozoro, while Nasarawa United host Enyimba, with both games taking place on Wednesday February 3.