Katsina United striker Martins Usule is brought down by Niger Tornadoes defender

Katsina United have moved up to 13th on the NPFL table after they sealed all three important points with a 1-0 home win over Niger Tornadoes Wednesday.

They now have 35 points from 26 games and will travel to Nnewi for their next match against FC IfeanyiUbah.

Niger Tornadoes are now 10th position on the table with 37 points.

Substitute Obinna Eleje 74th minute solo strike gave Katsina United maximum points in a hard-fought NPFL matchday 26 game decided at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium in Katsina.

Eleje came off the bench to replace Martins Usule before he smashed home from close range a 74th minute winner with an assist by the lively Ashadi Destiny.

‘The Chanji Boys’ dominated play from the blast of the first whistle, but wasted a series of scoring opportunities.

Yushau Garba and Usule were involved in the earlier chances.

The pair unleashed several attempts at Niger Tornadoes’ goal with goalkeeper Mustapha Aliko staying alert to deny them.

Usule almost opened scoring inside the first quarter of the game, but was unlucky as goalkeeper Aliko parried his strike that involved Tasiu Lawal to safety.

Niger Tornadoes made two meaningful efforts through Ebenezer Odeyemi’s smart strike from the edge of the box, that subsequently forced goalkeeper Okoli Okoli into making a save.

Thereafter Peter Momoh combined beautifully with Andrew Ikefe before his low strike was beaten away by Katsina United shot stopper Okoli.

Destiny, Yushau Garba and Usman Bara’u were in full control of the midfield as they dictated the pace of the proceedings with crisp passing across the middle of the park.

Both teams’ efforts to open the score line yielded nothing as they headed into the break.

On resumption, Katsina United intensified the pressure knowing fully well that a win will improve their position on the table.

Coach Baldwin Bazuaye’s inspired introduction of Eleje was magical as the substitute stole the show with a calm finish to hand his club all three points.

The attack was initiated by Katsina United mercurial midfielder Destiny, who showed his class by running past four defenders before setting Eleje up to fire the winning goal.

Tornadoes were then reduced to 10 men when defender Reuben Ogbonnaya was sent off by referee Marcus Bwashi for a dangerous tackle on Eleje.

The hosts then tried to capitalise on their numerical advantage to score more goals and pile more misery on their opponents, but they could not.

 

By Wale Oyekanmi

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