By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
Two first-half goals earned Holy Arrows a 2-1 win over Gateway United at Oleh Township Stadium, Ozoro, Delta State.
It was a matchday 11 fixture of the 2020/2021 Nigeria National League (NNL) season and two changes were made to the squad that defeated Abia Comets 2-0 in week 10 as Araromi Nurudeen and Olaoye Sodiq started from the back.
As early as the 4th minute, Abawula Anthony’s long throw-in was sent into the far post by Obhonigoro Michael’s header.
With an unprecedented goal down, Gateway United increased the tempo and nearly levelled terms when Haruna Salifu pulled the trigger on the edge of the area but the opponent’s goalie was equal to the task.
Against the run of play, Okechukwu Promise doubled the lead for the hosts, nodding in a cross from close range in the 25th minute.
In the nick of time, Oronsaye James halved the deficit with a screamer. The diminutive midfielder found space, cut to his right foot, then powdered a 25-yard effort which hit the upright of the woodwork enroute the back of the net.
A glimmer of hope that was.
The Hakeem Busari’s side continued from where they left off in the first half with an array of attacks. 7 minutes into the second half, an enticing free-kick was awarded just at the tip of the penalty area but a well-taken goal-bound freekick by Michael Okolo slightly hit the wall and sent the ball out of target.
Being a game of chances, Gateway United continued to dictate the pace. The best chance in the second half came in the 61st minute when Sunkanmi Odusina drove into the penalty area, cleverly cut to his left but hesitated to shoot and laid the ball for on-rushing Seyi Okeowo who blazed over the bar from close range.
Aribisala Timilehin, Aderemi Yusuf, Hawwal Ogunronbi were introduced as substitutes to give more bite to the attack but delaying tactics slowed the pace of the game as Holy Arrows held on to earn their first maximum points.
Gateway will now shift focus on the matchday 13 encounter with Bendel Insurance on Saturday 10th April 2021.
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