Kogi United started their 2017 Nigeria National League season on a losing note following a 1-0 defeat against FC Zamfara at the Sardaunna Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
Substitute Abass Abare’s 85th-minute goal saw the Confluence Boys crumbling in their opening match of the season.
United were the first to show real seriousness and zeal to win the game in the second minute of the start when John Jerome was laid through a pass by Abubakar Danlami, but his attempt went off target.
Zamfara comes out with a response in the fifth minute when Chigozie Mbagwu gifted from a rumble in front of United box but United defenders thwarted his effort.
The game grew into full swing with both sides creating good moves with near perfect composure Gerrard Edeh turned round Chatto and face the goalkeeper Detan Ogundare, but his shot went off target.
Zamfara left back, Azeez charged forward to make a cross into United goal area but goalkeeper Ogundare Detan was in hand to make a catch.
Patrick Agada almost scored for the hosts from a set piece but his cross struck the bar before United cleared their line.
It was the turn of Kogi United in the dying minute to end the first half as John John combined well with Jerome to set up attack, but the latter was not lucky as his shot goes just inches wide from goal.
It was John again with another attack for United as his header from a corner went off target.
The second half could not produced much of talking moments as the hosts were employing long ball tactics which they used to frustrate United.
The few it produced was Detan’s brilliance in the 70th minute when Zamfara had a chance to score but the lanky keeper comes out with his body to deny Gye a chance to aim at goal.
Adegbayo Ayuba could have become a super sub for Kogi United with 15 minutes to end the game when he steal the ball from Okonkwo’s leg but his goal-bound kick was cleared by Azeez.
United’s impressive performance so far in the game was dented by the late goal scored by substitute Abare who gain a chance from a questionable moments with five minutes to end the game.
A long throw into United box was cleared to Agwaza whose shot was parried down by Detan, Sunday Roberts was quick to react but was tripped in the box while trying to clear the Ball Abare jabbed into empty net with the center referee pointing to the center.
There was a quick response from the boys of Coach Ishaya Jatau with two minutes to end the game when Ayuba rose high to head down the ball for John John and the striker’s shot was agonizingly denied by the crossbar and the hosts ran out with a victory.
United’s next match will be against FRSC FC in Lokoja next Saturda while FC Zamfara will travel to Ilorin to face Kwara United.