Blessing Nkor strikes late to earn Ibom Angels hard-fought win against Royal Queens
Blessing Nkor scored a dramatic late goal to secure Ibom Angels a laboured 2-1 win over Royal Queens at Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Thursday morning.
Having lost their opening-day home fixture against Osun Babes, Morofu Adeyemo’s side were under pressure to win the game — and in the end, they scraped through.
Originally scheduled for Wednesday, the game had to be moved to Thursday following the failure of the assistant referees to arrive Uyo on time.
Chika Idika levelled things up for Paul Mene’s ladies after Mercy Itimi had put Angels in front, but 11 minutes from time, substitute Nkor tucked the ball past goalkeeper Bukola Oni to seal her side their first win of the campaign and inflict a second defeat of the season on the Warri club.
The hosts dominated the early stages and deservedly took the lead in the 26th minute, but struggled for fluency afterwards.
Uduak Peter latched onto a pass and then surged forward. Despite losing her footing while under a challenge, she managed to thread the ball to Itimi, who slotted in to give Angels the lead.
Royal Queens almost equalized five minutes later, though, after goalkeeper Lucky Andy spilled Chiamaka Okwuchukwu’s effort. Barely a second after the blunder, a goalmouth melee ensued, but Angels managed to clear the danger.
In the 37th minute, Andy once again struggled to handle the ball. And this time, it proved costly — with Chika Idika firing into the roof of the net from close range.
The visitors went close to getting their second goal 13 minutes after the break through Chioma Olise, but Andy did well to keep it out.
Barely 11 minutes later, there was a big save at the other end — with Oni brilliantly denying Oluchi White.
Midway into the second half, Andy somehow managed to atone for her earlier mistakes by charging off her goal line to prevent Okwuchukwu from getting her name on the scoresheet, after the offside flag had stayed down. The goalkeeper spread her frame to bravely block the forward’s shot.
As the clock ticked away, Queens looked on course to securing at least a point, but Nkor scrambled in a winner in the 79th minute to break the hearts of the visitors, after Oni failed to deal with a corner.