El-Kanemi Warriors was held to a 2-2 by Go Round FC of Umukoin one of Nigeria Professional Football League Matchday 17 , played at the Sports Complex in Maiduguri, on Saturday.
The hosts began with an early incursion by Kabir Balogun, which saw the visitors clearing succession of shots with goalkeeper Godwin Dede and Ebuka Akobundu the big performers in defence for the away team.
Chinedu Ohanachom had also combined well with Sani Abbani before the latter’s acrobatic kick was kept out by Dede.
GO Round made their first attempt at goal through Sadiq Ololade Rilwan, whose low strike was saved by George Michael seven minutes from start.
El-Kanemi came close to scoring in the 15th minute, Balogun blasted wide from close range having received a through pass from Sunday Anthony.
Three minutes later, Sunday Anthony curled in from a free kick to send the home fans into massive jubilation, it was indeed a superb curler that left Dede rooted.
It became more interesting with the hosts leading by a lone goal, the visitors came out stronger, Akobundu turning his defence into attack with several crosses. While Chiebonam Nwogbaga and Onukwube had wide attempts.
Warriors almost doubled their lead on 26 minutes when Sani Abbani took out two defenders from a jinking run, but his shot was deflected into corner by unrushing Dede.
Go Round levelled scores a minute before half an hour as Nwogbaga Chiebonam converted a free header from Philip David’s perfect delivery. Nwogbaga was cautioned afterwards for pulling out a corner flag in a jubilant mood.
Both teams made more frantic efforts as the game headed for the interval, Sunday Anthony and Yeful were involved in close range strikes which was kept out by goalkeeper Dede.
At the other end, Nwogbaga almost stole the show with another free header off Akobundu’s delivery that missed target by few inches, which was the last chance of the first half.
El-Kanemi Warriors took the lead once more with their first attempt at goal. Ohanachom’s header was poorly cleared by Philip David before Jamiu Alimi blasted home from close range to make it 2-1.
Alimi was subsequently shown a yellow card for kicking at the corner flag.
The visitors responded ten minutes later with a well taken shot by Stanley Worlu who capitalized on a defensive error by Maamo Joseph to put his side on level terms for the second time.
On the hour mark, the Omoku landlords almost went ahead in the game, this time Onukwube provided for Nwogbaga after El-Kanemi goalkeeper George Michael went down, but the delivery was slightly higher than the waiting head of the lanky striker.
Razaq Aliyu in a bid to get his team back in front headed from Sunday Anthony’s corner, kudos to Dede who parried into safety. Yeful’s bullet strike was also saved in the process.
It became a lengthy second half when Go Round goalkeeper Dede was injured twice in the final moments of the game. He was knocked down in an aerial collision at one time and later collided with Ohanachom.
But every other attempt by the hosts was either saved by Dede or wasted by the Warriors until the final whistle.
El-Kanemi Warriors have moved temporarily to the top of NIgeria Professional Football League Group B table with 29 points and await the outcome of other matches on Sunday.
Their next game is a northeast derby with rivals Yobe Desert Stars in Damaturu on Wednesday.
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