Abdulazeez’s late goal earns Gombe United win at Dakkada

Yusuf Abdulazeez’s stoppage-time goal inflicted a second home defeat of the season on Dakkada and handed Gombe United their first away win of the campaign.

The strike on Thursday, which took the forward’s season tally to seven, came five minutes after Musa Bashiru blew away the chance to put the hosts in front from the penalty spot.

Dakkada controlled large spells of the matchday 13 game — played at Goodwill Akpabio Stadium — but a lack of of quality in the attacking third let them down.

Both sides had chances to score in the first half. The first scoring attempt came in the second minute, with Sani Shehu sending a looping shot from 35 yards out towards the hosts’ goal. The effort looked destined for the roof of the net, but Thomas Omokhudu — who has kept Loveday Anugbuo out of starting XI since the defeat against Wikki Tourists on January 19 — did well to push the ball over the crossbar.

At the other end, six minutes later, Adewale Lasisi saw his curling effort sail just wide of the far post after he cut inside, before Emmanuel Ayoasi lobbed wide.

Dakkada had another two opportunities to break the deadlock before the interval. Gideon Gambo denied Muritala Lawal following a cut-back and four minutes later, the goalkeeper made another brilliant save — this time keeping out Femi Ajayi’s shot after the forward muscled his way past two defenders.

A slip from Omokhudu on 41 minutes, though, nearly proved costly for the home team. The goalkeeper elected to come out and claim a cornerkick but missed it and the ball fell in front of Sani Suleiman, but the captain somehow failed to make proper contact with the ball and Umar Danlami’s side survived the scare.

The visitors made three substitutions at the break. One of them saw Itodo Akor replace Gambo, who had played the final 15 minutes of the first half with injury after colliding with Femi Ajayi.

The home side continued where they left off after the interval and nearly found the net seconds after the hour mark through Aniekan Ekpe, who tried his luck with a long-distance freekick.

Shortly after taking the freekick, Ekpe was substituted and Dakkada were disjointed for a while.

Gombe United went close again, few minutes later. Substitute Chidiebere Ernest connected with Shehu’s beautiful cross, only to be denied by the crossbar.

The hosts then looked certain to take the lead after substitute Francis Erikan beat Shehu at the byline before cutting the ball back to Ayoasi. The forward, though, fired agonisingly wide much to the disappointment of Danlami.

Not long after failing to take advantage of the opportunity, Ayaosi latched onto a long pass, nodding the ball down and shaping to do the visitors damage. He was illegally stopped inside the area, and the referee awarded the hosts a penalty. However, Bashiru crashed the spot-kick against the stanchion, leaving everyone on the Dakkada bench in fury.

And moments after Bashiru blew away the chance to grab what would have been his third goal of the campaign, it was the visiting fans who were celebrating.

Ibrahim Yahaya outmuscled Harrison Ibukun and dispossessed the defender of the ball close to the Dakkada box. He then held on to possession, waiting for his team-mate to arrive. Dakkada failed to give the situation the attention it needed, allowing Abdulazeez to surge forward from the centre circle. As soon as the striker arrived, Ibrahim laid the ball off to him. The no.25 made the most of the pass, placing a first-time shot beyond Omokhudu.

The referee blasted his final whistle less than two minutes later.

The result leaves Dakkada — who play fellow Akwa Ibom club Akwa United on Sunday — in the bottom four and the Savannah Scorpions in ninth position.

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