Tomorrow,February 18, the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) would enter its ninth week and all eyes would be on the star game, between Kano Pillars and Entombed at the Sani Abacus Stadium,Kofar Mata,but,in temperate Lafia, hosts Nasarawa United would be aiming to salvage what is fast becoming a souring season when it takes on Kwara United.
Both sides, who have not had much to cheer this season, would be aiming to avoid defeat and salvage a season that has seen them pant and puff to make hay.
Having lost to Tornadoes in Lokoja on day nine of hostilities,the home side, who lie in 16th place, with 9 points from 8 games, is hard-pressed to make do without its trusted hands,Suraj Ayeleso, who would be replaced by Umar Danlami.
Still smarting from the mid-week loss, Coach Kabir Dogo, who has overseen a topsy-turvy beginning,is hell-bent on making something of the game.
“That loss to Tornadoes is still painful, because we gave our all.We came out to play,but lost in the end.That is football for you, though.
“Be that as it may, we know Kwara is a strong side, tactically disciplined, with a top coach who I respect deeply,but we need the three points to boost our standing on the league.We need to turn things around before the season goes half-way.We need to get off the bottom of the table,” a troubled Dogo admitted to npfl.ng.
But Dogo’s stance could be one of mere caution than outright submission. He has got Douglas Achiv, Kabir Balogun and Thomas Zenke and these three can change the course of a game on a great day. Fans of the Solid Miners would give anything to make Sunday one of such days.
But the skipper and defence supremo of the visitors, Sleep Onigbari, remained bullish ahead of the tie.He knows a loss will see them finally settle at the base and is adamant he and the lads can prevent that by upsetting the cart in Lafia.
A home win against Katsina United on Day 8 has boosted morale in no small way for the side who lie in 18th place, with a measly 7 points from 8 games, so far. “We have suffered some harsh defeats this season which didn’t reflect how much effort we have made,but, as for this game, we are here for the three points and have what it takes to upset Nasarawa United in front of their fans,” he told npfl.ng.
Onigbari’s roar may not be a bluff, after all. His side would unleash former Nasarawa United duo Kabir Aminu, Shuaibu Babangida, as well as Steve Alfred and Michael Ohanu, in order to boost it’s chances of keeping good its word.