By Aniekeme Unyah
Dakkada’s poor run continued on Saturday with a goalless home draw against Kwara United that could see them drop to eighth after Sunday’s matches.
After a promising start to the season, Caleb Esu’s side have lost steam and hopes of securing a top-three finish is gradually fading away.
The Uyo club are now fifth on the log after a fifth game without a win — and with Enyimba, Sunshine Stars and Heartland all playing on Sunday, they could slide towards the bottom half of the table.
Esu and his opposite number Abdullahi Biffo were both looking to halt their poor runs but in the end, they had to settle for the spoils.
Both teams headed into the fixture on the back of defeats — and they started the game in slow gear, struggling to create spark in the opening minutes.
The first big moment came when goalkeeper Vicent Edafe opted to dribble his marker rather than clearing his lines. He got away with it but the home crowd couldn’tn’t hide their displeasure. Moses Effiong then benefited from a mix-up to go clear on goal but failed to convert his chance. The skilful winger also latched onto a beautiful ball played in by Eso Archibong but failed to find anyone with his delivery.
The biggest chance of the first half fell to Femi Ajayi in the 21st minute. Goalkeeper Emmanuel Iwu misjudged a ball sent into the box and Arinze Obuka benefited from the mistake, laying a pass to Ajayi. The bulky striker couldn’t find the back of the net, though, as his effort was blocked.
Kwara United managed just one shot on target in the opening 45 minutes. The effort came in two minutes before the break, when Vincent Edafe stopped Philip Ozor’s shot, before gathering the rebound.
The second half started just as sloppy as the first did, though Kwara showed some improvements. The away side’s no. 27 Alao Danbani, who looked dangerous all evening, tried to find his team-mates in the area minutes after the interval but his cross was blocked and the resulting corner cleared.
The introduction of captain Aniekan Ekpe brought renewed energy to the hosts. In the 70th minute, the midfielder had a chance to secure a winner but was denied by Iwu’s point-blank save.
Iwu produced another brilliant save to deny Unwana Asuquo ten minutes later and the Ilorin club kept their nerves and composure to see off the remaining minutes — including five minutes of stoppage time — to earn a point and maintain their unbeaten run against Uyo sides this season.
Meanwhile, matchday 21 action continues on Sunday with top-of-the-table clash between Lobi Stars and Plateau United holding at Aper Aku Stadium.
Lobi will displace the leaders if they win the potentially explosive tie.
- NPFL 2019-20 Matchday 21 preview: Lobi Stars look to displace leaders Plateau United
- Rivers topple Pillars to move into second