We earned our first away point of the Nigeria National League (NNL) 2022 season, following a goalless draw against J’Atete FC on Saturday March 20, 2022, at Otu Jeremi stadium, Delta State.
In a keenly contested Matchday 7?clash, the Lions were clearly the better side with more domination of the game, but were only unlucky to return home with a point.
Coach Henry Makinwa had made four changes to the side that comfortably defeated Adoration FC last weekend, with Solomon Etiti missing through injury, and Somtochukwu Abraham only finding himself among the substitutes. There were also no places for Uwem Charles and Saheed Obisesan in Saturday’s matchday squad.
That saw Kabiru Popoola, Lekan Abdulsalam, Gideon Monday and David Edet all starting against J’Atete.
It was an entertaining first installment of high intensity display from both sides, but lacked clear cut chances which eventually could not produce any goal to match with the energy of the game.
The first opportunity of the match came from the Lions in the 7th minute when forward Gideon Monday connected with a cut back from Anas Hassan which was deflected out for a corner kick.
J’Atete later had few chances towards the end of the first half from set pieces, but VFC goalie Obinna Akuchie was on hand to deal with any threat.
The Lions came out from the tunnel and nearly took the lead with Olalekan Abdulsalam and Bassey Odiong. Gideon Monday was strong to dribble past his marker on the left and sent in a cross into the box which was met by Lekan, but his header was pushed behind by the goalkeeper for a corner. The resulting cross was met by Odiong whose attempt which landed in the hands of the opposition goalkeeper, was already flagged for offside.
Lekan had another chance from a set piece in the 58th as the Lions kept pushing for a goal. Oloye Felix sent in a cross from the left which Lekan read very well but could not hit the target from close range.
At the other end, the J’Atete had a chance on the break which Obinna made a fine save to deny the home side from taking the lead.
Savior Isaac had a chance in the last minute of the game to grab the winner, but his shot on the run was deflected off the defender for a corner.
Despite dominating the second half, the Lions could not find the breakthrough to secure all three points, but a point on the road for the first time this season pushes the Lions further up the table.
WHAT OUR COACH SAID
“It was a tough match but we’ve gotten our first point on the road, we have been working hard towards this and we have been able to achieve it today.
“It’s a game that we could have won because we played so well, in the second half, we had about four chances that we could have scored but we couldn’t do that, there were no threats to us because we were well organized in the defense, in the midfield, we tried our best and did so well.
“We had a good game but could not score. We had one with Saviour, another one with Oloye and Odiong but at the end of the day we couldn’t possibly be disappointed because we got away with a point, so next is our home game with Ibom Youths and we are working to get three points.”
The Lions will welcome Ibom Youths FC to the Teslim Balogun Stadium on Friday, March 25, 2022 at 16:00GMT+1.
Tickets for the game can be purchased from vandrezzerfc.com/match/tickets
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