Gateway, Ekiti share spoils in NNL opener as goal rains in Kogi, Ibadan

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Michael Babatunde

Gateway United of Ogun state were held to a goalless draw by visiting Ekiti United in the Nigeria National League opener on Wednesday at the MKO stadium.

Meanwhile, it was goal rain in Kogi and Ibadan on the same match day.

Gateway seemed the better side in their group B3 encounter but denied victory by woodworks and heroics of Ekiti United goalie, Marouf Olasupo.

Akeem Busari side had a couple of chances in the first half but only received by woodworks in the 23rd and half time minutes.

Before then, Seyi Okeowo had fired wide from a free kick while also mismanaging another attempt at close range.

A good team play between the trio of Kelechi Chimezie, Seyi Okeowo, and Orosanye ended at stillbirth just as the later hit his halftime free kick at woodwork.

Ekiti charged forward but failed to capitalise on Gateway’s Alao Temitope’s lackluster 35th minute.

At the resumption of second half, Ekiti’s Maruf popoola denied Gateway of maximum points from a penalty kick taken by James Orosanye.

Marouf Olasupo denied gateway several times in the second half, efforts that saw him emerge as the man of the match.

Gateway kept asking the questions but got no answer while Ekiti United were determined for a draw as they celebrated the barren scoreline at half time.

Fans of Gateway left the pitch disappointed, muttering “losing our first game is not good for us”

Coach Akeem Busari took responsibility for his side’s failure to secure victory while Coach Agbana of Ekiti seeks to increase on a good form to earn the NPFL ticket for the first time having gotten the first point on the road.

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Gateway United will seek redemption on the road against table toppers, Dynamite Football Club in Auchi, in their second game of the 2019 NNL season.

In other encounters, Kogi United cruised past Yarmalight by five goals to nothing in a group A2 encounter while Stationery Stores were three goals better than De Sapele Lions FC in group B2.

Mighty Jets and Dynamite FC secured three points away from home against Giodano and Rovers FC in groups A4 and B3 respectively.

Other match day one results below:
Group A1
NAF FC 2 vs 1 EFCC

Group A2
FC Zamfara 1 vs 1 Jigawa G Stars

Group A3
Green Beret 1 vs 0 Bimo SC
Rarara FC 1 vs 0 Road Safety

Group A4
Adamawa Utd 1 vs 0 Aklosendi Int’l

Group B1
3SC FC 1-1 Abia Comets
Bayelsa 2-0 Osun Utd

Group B2
J’Atete 1-0 36Lion

Akwa Starlets 2 vs 1 Jossy FC

Group B4
Warri Wolves 2 vs 1 Ibom Youths FC
Words of life 2 vs 0 Lamry FC

ABS FC vs Sokoto Utd (11/4/19) will trade tackles in Thursday 11th of April in their group A4 encounter


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