NPFL new boys, Go Round FC fought hard on Thursday to finally defeat Nasarawa United 2-1 at the KrisDera Hotel Stadium in Omoku.
Smarting from their 3-0 thrashing at Katsina United on Sunday, Ngozi Elechi threw captain, Nelson Esor straight into the starting eleven.
Esor had not played since Match Day 1 in Jos where the team lost 1-0 to Wikki Tourists.
Chile Azu who missed the Katsina United game with a red card also returned to the starting team and the home side quickly charged at their opponents hoping to maybe, get an early goal.
But it was Nasarawa United that could have drawn first blood in the 12th minute when Saheed Opeyemi’s close range header from an Abubakar Abdulahi cross was saved by Stanley Nwabali who was somewhat rattled by the goal attempt.
After that it was mostly midfield play by both sides with Nelson Esor, Maurice Chukwu and Obinna Ukwu dominating proceedings in the middle of the pack.
In the 23rd minute, Go Round should have scored.
Chile Azu’s free kick from the edge of the penalty area was bundled out by Suraj Ayeleso and the rebound found Morris Chukwu whose shot was blocked by a Nasarawa United player to avert danger for them.
Go Round FC continued to raid Nasarawa United and it was Adeseun Adelani in the 26th minute who thought he had scored but his shot was stopped by Ayeleso after he dribbled into the box and saw some space to rifle home.
After a goaless first half, it was Adelani that opened scores in the 50th minute, his 2nd of the season.
A routine Chile Azu freekick was pushed onto the path of Adelani by Ayeleso and the Go Round FC striker gratefully tucked it home for the opening goal.
But the euphoria of the goal celebration had hardly died down as Nasarawa United won a corner kick that the goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali and his defenders failed to clear.
Saheed Opeyemi tucked home one of the easiest goals he may score away from home this season as at least four Go Round players were ball watching deep inside their own penalty area.
Kabir Dogo replaced Nojeem Olukokun for Nwani Ikechukwu in the 59th minute and immediately after that substitution, Ngozi Elechi brought on Shadrack Oghale for Adelani Adeseun.
A moment of ball watching by Go Round FC defenders gave Nasarawa United a chance to take the lead again.
In the 74th minute, Saheed Opeyemi saw himself in front of the Go Round FC keeper inside the penalty area after a nice interchange of passing tore open the defence of the home side.
Rather the round the keeper he tried to chip him but the ball went hopelessly wide.
After surviving that onslaught, Ngozi Elechi brought on Stanley Worlu for Chidi Nwachukwu and a minute later in the 76th, Go Round FC was 2-1 up.
Shadrack Oghale received the ball just outside the penalty area, dribbled his way in and floated it to the far side of Ayeleso who watched as it sailed in for what would turn out to be the winning goal.
The drama of the goal was reserve goalkeeper, Godwin Ameh getting a yellow card for running onto the pitch to celebrate the goal and then Stanley Nwabali injuring himself while somersaulting after Oghale scored.
Nwabali was then replaced with Ameh who made two point blank saves in the time he was on the pitch as the away side searched for an equaliser.
Stanley Worlu had time to increase the score when in added time he turned around his marker in the penalty area but shot wide when it would have been easier to score.
The relief on the faces of Go Round players and fans at full time was clear for all to see.
Nasarawa United coach, Kabiru Dogo said it was a game his side should have won but they conceded cheap goals.
“It’s not a bad game. We had a mission to pick all three points though we lost all. We wanted to capitalise on the fact that they were under pressure to win this one, but unfortunately we conceded cheap goals,” Dogo said.
Ngozi Elechi told the media after the game that he noticed what was wrong with his team in the first half and turned it around with his substitutions at half time.
“Nasarawa is not a new team to us. We know them and their philosophy. Our last two games were not good for us and we needed to come out mentality and turn the tables around.
“We had problems with decision making in the first half and I turned it around at half time. Their central defender was only good in the air so we needed to bring in somebody solid like Shadrack who was just coming back from injury,” Elechi said.