A first half goal and assist from Abel Bobby inspired Kogi United to a comfortable 3-0 home win over Yobe Desert Stars in the Matchday 21 of Bet9ja Nigerian National League, NNL clash in Lokoja on Saturday.
Bobby opened the score sheet for Kogi United with guiding header from Ibrahim Mustapha’s cross in the 32nd minute.
The forward became the provider in the 43rd minutes as his cut back pass was converted calmly by Idris Muye after John John had taken out Yobe defenders in the box.
Micheal Bolaji would arrive on time in Yobe’s box to volleyed in a low cross from Mustapha in the 78th minutes to complete the romping for the Confluence State’s club.
United could have taken the lead in the 15th minutes when Bobby was allowed to control Iwuji’s pass in the Yobe’s box but his shot hit the upright to sail away.
The Damaturu side survived two quick attacks from United as a goal bound shots from both John John and Victor Tale were blocked by the crowded defence.
And the goal arrived for Kogi United in the 32nd minutes when the visitors were about settling into the game as Iwuji snatched a loose ball from Ahmed Shittu and quickly found Mustapha on the run who didn’t waste time with his cross that was headed in by diving Bobby.
United almost doubled their lead within two minutes afterwards as Yobe goalkeeper Mohammed Abdullahi put out John John’s little tap in from Iwuji’s delivery, and Beach Eagles’ defender Victor Tale had his thunderous shot from a set piece that went off target.
Just as both sides were preparing to retire into the dugout for half time, United’s second goal arrived in the 43rd minutes off a perfect team work.
Tale took the initiative to make way into Yobe’s half before founding Bobby on the wing, the forward sent his cut back pass into the visitors’ goal area which was sailed over by John John for Muye bury into the bottom corner and give Kogi United a two goal cushion at half time.
Yobe Desert Stars upped the ante in the formative stage of the second half with quick attacks but weren’t clinical in front of goal as United defended with confidence.
John John could have taken the game to bed for Lokoja based club at the stroke of an hour when Yobe defenders failed to clear the ball in their box and allowed Mustapha to steal but his pass to the bulky forward met him in an offside position before tapping in.
The tempo of the game went down as the match nears its final minutes but United was undone by scoring goals.
Another attack for the hosts was initiated by Muye and Iwuji on the left flank. Mustapha received the pass as he took out Yobe defenders before founding unmarked Bolaji with a low cross which was volleyed in past helpless Abdullahi and sent the sizable crowd at the Confluence Stadium into wild jubilation.
Head Coach of Kogi United Tunde Abdulrahman who was excited with the result and performance of his boys said his team were gradually back to where they should be with their output.
The former Kwara United and Wikki Tourists handler, however, expressed optimism that Kogi United would end the season on a high note with more decent results.
“I’m happy with the boys’ response today, we have been on the rise in the last four matches, they are more committed now as they know what is at stake for the team.
“We expect to increase and improve on this result and performance in our next game, I’m sure if we can get more good results on the road by God’s grace I’m sure we will end the season where we want,” he said.
His counterpart from Yobe Desert Stars Musa Aminu admitted that his side met a better and complete team in Kogi United just as he blamed his boys for not playing the match as instructed.
“It was a good match but not a good day for us, we lost to a better and completed side, Kogi United deserved the victory, the three goals were good goals no complain about them but we could have done but better today if my players had played as directed by you know players, we didn’t react well and slow in the buildups, we will go back and work our lapses quickly before next game,” Aminu said.
Kogi United have however garnered 26 points from 18 games and will host Kaduna United in another home game next Saturday in Lokoja.