Kogi United came from a goal down to salvage a 2-1 victory over NAF Rockets FC in the Matchday 8 the Nigeria National League (NNL) in Abuja on Wednesday.
Abubakar Danlami deflected a Bulus Benjamin’s rebounded effort in the 19th minute.
John Jerome leveled the scoreline eight minutes into the restart and again was the provider of the winning goal as his 87th minute cross was tapped home by Daniel Frimpong.
The result has put United on top of the Group A2 and in good stead for promotion to the top flight.
The boys of Coach Tunde Abdulrahman lived up to their pre match plans and they came out with all arsenals by taking the game to their hosts in the first half but fell of short ideas to break the NAF defense.
The visitors failed to react on time to clear the danger in their goal area after Flying Eagles’ goalkeeper Ogundare Detan had parried Okoye Samuel’s low drive and Benjamin’s rebound was deflected to the far corner by Danlami.
The visitors responded quickly and tried to restore parity before half time break but Austine Daniel and Frimpong couldn’t direct their efforts towards goal.
Kogi United were the better side for most part of second period as they forced their hosts to resort to long plays.
The dominance in possession earned them the equalizing goal which Jerome took his shot beyond NAF goalkeeper, Okoro Anthony after beautiful cutback pass from Daniel.
Just as the game was heading for a stalemate, United took the advantage of NAF’s weakness in defense when substitute Olushola Ajala found Jerome on the run and the winger wasted no time to deliver a cross into NAF’s penalty area which Frimpong tapped home from close range to give Kogi United their first away win in four years.
An elated Jerome told Kogi United Media that the victory was a deserved one which has increased the club’s target to gain promotion to the NPFL going to the World Cup break just as he promised to score more goals for the Confluence state club.
“I’m really happy with the victory, my goal and the performance of the team in general, we were determined to win this match though we didn’t start well but we were better in the second half.
“We are still in good position for promotion to the Premier League, I believe we will come back stronger after the (World Cup) break and hope to get more goals and assist to help us achieve our target,” he said.
Jerome’s coach, Tunde Abdulrahman disclosed that he has fulfilled his promises to give the club their first away win before heading to the break and was impressed with the way his boys approached the game in the second half.
“I want to commend my players for making us fulfil our target and thank God for this victory, I believe in the team and have confidence we will win.
“Yes, the first half was not too okay for us but I told them to open up more and relax to see where they (NAF) lack to operate, I’m happy with their overall performance and we promise to improve our strength and work on our shortcomings,” the former Wikki Tourists’ handler said.
Kogi United are currently topping the Group A2 log with 16 points and will draw bye for the last fixtures of the group slated for this weekend while NAF rockets will travel to Lafia to take on Aklosendi FC.
NAF Rockets XI:Okoro Anthony, Makama Oliver, Bolaji Mohammed, Uche Benjamin, Isaac Ojina, Micheal Simon, Yahaya Ibrahim, Okoye Samuel (Ugi Emmanuel 69′) Kelvin Odenigbo, Bulus Benjamin, James Ubeh.
Unused Substitutes: Paul Simon, Abdul James, Usman Donatus, Hamza Abdullahi, Tchado Mohammed, Enoh Raphael.
Kogi United XI:Detan Ogundare, Victor Tale, Adewumi Femi, Abubakar Danlam, Stephen Musa, Moses Kayode, John Jerome, Idris Muye (Olushola Ajala 65′), Daniel Austine, Eghe Osas, Daniel Frimpong (Saheed Bankole 90′).
Unused Substitutes: Salisu Ogbe, Adam Tijani, Abubakar Tenimu, Anthony Jegede, Ibrahim Enesi.