By Akanni Seyi
Niger Tornadoes of Minna on Wednesday in Lokoja came from a goal down to force Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) Ilorin FC to a one all draw in a Match Day 2 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) encounter.
The visitors started the game chasing their own shadows before they got their grove back in the 22nd minute.
Mohammed Mohammed who scored the Saraki Boys’ first goal of the season against Akwa United on Sunday in Ilorin gave ABS FC the lead thirty minutes into the game.
Mohammed followed a Stone Evbuomwan pass from the midfield, picked up the ball, drove into the Tornadoes defense, displaced an onrushing defender before he lobbed the ball over Mustapha Aliko in goal for Niger Tornadoes.
Ebenezer Odeyemi capitalized on a defensive blunder to equalise seven minutes later as he netted from a goal mouth scramble.
Abubakar Babawo, stole the ball from the midfield dribbled to ABS defense, attempts by the visitors’ defenders to clear the ball proved abortive as Odeyemi followed up to slide in the ball which is almost going into the net.
ABS Coach Henry Makinwa, made a change before half time, bringing on Abubakar Chindo for Metu Chigozirim.
The Makinwa tutored side came into the second half stronger, as they pressed to get another goal but the resilient Tornadoes defense was too strong to concede again.
Makinwa was full of praises for his boys, as he said he came for a win in Lokoja but agreed a draw was a fair result.
He said he will go back home to address some of the issues or mistakes he noticed in today’s game.
The former Real Socidad of Spain attacker, also blamed fatigue on his boys’ performance, saying a game on Sunday and a trip to Lokoja was too much for his players.
“I came here to win but they didn’t allow me because they are a good side too.
“I think fatigue affected both of us, we played 48 hours ago and both of us had to make long journey to play today again.
“We are going home to restrategise against Ifeanyi Ubah, you know it’s not going to be easy but we will try to take the three points at stake, the spirit lives on” Makinwa said.
His counterpart in Niger Tornadoes, Abubakar Bala, said he is now under pressure to deliver for the fans of the Ikon Allah.
“It was a bad result for us today, we lost in Lagos and we drew here today.
“The defensive blunder that led to ABS’s goal put pressure on the team.
“We are a work in progress, it’s a new team and we need time to mature.
“The long journey from Lagos back home was a factor in our performance today” Bala said.