Niger Tornadoes returned to winning ways and leapfrog from the bottom to 11th position on the Nigeria professional football league group A standing with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Wikki Tourists at the Bako Kontagora Stadium in a matchday 15 to continue their top flight survival series.
Home protégé Ahmadu Liman opened the scoring for the ikon Allah boys inside twenty-four minutes of the first half, Wikki Tourists defence failed to clear a low pass from the mid-season signing Said Mubarak, Ahmadu Liman stole the ball and hammered in low shot past Abubakar Adamu on the firing line. Before heading in the second goal in the sixtieth of the second to secure insurance policy for the Minna based team.
The margin of victory would have been wider for Niger Tornadoes had it not been for the Wikki Tourists goalkeeper denying Eric Frimpong low drive shot on the byline.
For Wikki Tourists, they dropped to 8th position on the Nigeria Professional Football League group, though they are comfortable on the log, they engage Katsina United next Sunday.
Wikki Tourists nearly took the lead with just 3 minutes on the clock, but Ahmed Jimoh failed to beat the offside trap to get a toe on Adamu Umar’s teasing ball across the face of goal.
Sarki Ismalia’s deflected drive through bodies drew a fine save from Adamu Abubakar inside twenty minutes, but the Wikki Tourists stopper was at fault four minutes later when he allowed Ahmadu Liman’s low shot from the close range beat him at his near post.
Wikki Tourists’s relentless attacking play pushed Niger Tornadoes back and forced errors, but Ismailia Gata was forced out of the encounter after he lashed over from eight yards after a defensive mix-up between Adetola and Ayo and Iko James cushioned the ball into his path.
Wikki Tourists began to halt the frequency of attacks, but they were fortunate not to leveled up the score on 39 minutes, Benjamin Jatau guilty of going alone and firing wide after being played through on the counter by Ahmed Jimoh, who wanted the return pass.
But the hosts eventually doubled their lead a fifteen minute of the second half, Ahmadu Liman heads in Aliyu Mohammed Goyi’s cross, hitting the woodowork, leaving Wikki Tourists Adamu Abubakar helpless, who rifled his 3rd goal of the season.
Said Mubarak drew Adamu Abubakar into action at full stretch with a rasping 25-yard drive on 70 minutes but the goalkeeper ensured Wikki Tourists left Niger Tornadoes with their heads held high, though they could have had more had Christopher Chidera who replaced Ahmadu Liman, Adamu Abubakar stretched and managed to parried his shot to safety at the end of a late counter.
Team news: Said Mubarak was handed his first Premier League start as Niger Tornadoes made three changes from the defeat at Rivers United Fulham. Eric Frimpong and Ahmadu Liman all came in as Sadick Abass, Jibrin Mustapha and Christopher Chidera dropped out.
Line-ups; Adamu Abubakar (GK) 22, Hassan Musa 26, Amiru Ahmed 28, Ajala Olushola 16, Abdullahi Musa 5
Franklin Anthony 19, Gata Isa Adeshina 14 (Williams Ukeme 15 ¬), Abba Umar 10, Benjamin Jatau 25, (Mabu Garba 9), Saidu Abdullahi 8(Muhammed I. Guda 7), Ahmed Jimoh 13
Unused Subs: Kazeem Yekini 34, Hassan Abubakar 26, Sixtus Forsah 12, Mubarak Umar 20/
Niger Tornadoes Line-up: 30-Mustapha Aliko, 2- Iko James, 32- Aliyu Mohammed Goyi, 8- Ayo Adetola, 28- Gwaza Iorliam
21 – Reuben Ogbonnaya, 11 – Eric Frimpong (31 – Chidera Christopher ), 4 – Moses Ugwu, 6 – Sarki Ismalia (38 – Ibrahim Musa ), 10 – Ahmed Liman (18 – Mohammed Hussaini), 12 – Said Mubarak
Unused Sub: 19 – Chizoba Ndukwe, 17 – Olayinka Yusuf, 35 – Saib Dosso, 23 – Clement Udeh
Speaking during the post-match interview with sport Journalists, the Acting Technical Adviser of the club, Hamza Abara, dedicated the victory to the new Sole Administrator of the club, Engr. Ibrahim Dada, saying he had been so supportive since his assumption in office nearly 10 days ago.
He said no doubt his team was in a difficult situation, but that they were doing their best to ensure that the team come out of the mess it found itself.
“I think the secret behind this victory today is the new Sole Administrator of the club because of the great support he gave us. His first step alone was encouraging and we really appreciate that. We dedicate the victory of this match to him because he is the secret behind today’s winning,” said Coach Abarah.
Coach Abarah stated that they were doing their best to ensure the team did not drop a point at home again as they target six to seven point away from the remaining matches of the league.
He appealed to soccer-loving Nigerlites be patient with the club and called on all stakeholders to rally round the club to overcome its present challenges.
“I am appealing to all stakeholders to rally round the club, this is the time we need everyone on board to cheer us up, and we assure you that we will not fail Nigerlites,” said Coach Abara.
The Technical Adviser of Wikki Tourist, Aliyu Zubairu, expressed dissatisfaction with the result of the game, saying his team did not loss to a better side.
He admitted that the two goals against his team were good goals but they would return home to plan on how to approach their home game, and assured that his team was still in contention for the league title.