Osun United on Saturday May 22, 2021 snatched another important point on the road after an impressive performance against Rovers FC of Calabar in the ongoing Nigeria National League (NNL).
Despite going down to 10 men in the 58th minute, the Omoluabi Giants, who took a lead via a spot kick converted by its skipper, Hakeem Olalere (Kebu) at the tail end of the first half held onto the draw after Daniel Ilevbare levelled up for the hosts in the 68th minute.
Rovers, under the tutelage the immediate past Osun United gaffer, Samson Unuanel were caged from the blast of the whistle as the resurgent Osun United, who strengthened the squad during the mid-season with eight experienced players, mounted severe pressure and created several on-target attempts through Thomas Adesina and Hammed Hammed who were denied by Ismaila Isah.
United got the curtain raiser through ‘Kebu’s sublime penalty in the 45th minute after a confused and troubled Odafi Emmanuel turned to a ‘midnight goalkeeper’ by catching the ball with his two hands in the 18 yard for the visitor to lead at half time.
There was a drama during the half time as the officials were threatened by the home side, leading to the second half to start after 25 minutes. Meanwhile, United continued with fantastic runs until the 60th minute when Mutiu Dauda was given a marching order for a second yellow card.
The hosts benefitted from this by levelling up at 68th minute through Daniel Ilevbare while several other attempts afterwards were blocked by United’s solid defence well guarded by Jerry Okon and Olatunbosun Afolabi.
Osun United gaffer, Bright Omokaro in his post match interview bemoaned the wrong calls against his team saying it was a daylight robbery.
“The officiating today was one of the worst I have ever seen. As I don’t like to talk about referees, the calls made against my team and the red card to my player were a pure match robbery. This is not good for our league and we call on the referee association in the country to step up”.
Rovers Head Coach, Samuel Asuquo however described the game as ‘very tough’ and said he would work on the lapses noticed in their subsequent games.
The result means Osun United are off the red zone and are currently sitting 8th on the log pending the outcome of Sunday’s results.
The Omoluabi Giants will, on Saturday play host to Dynamite Force of Edo at the Osogbo Township Stadium while Rovers will battle Ekiti United in another home game in Calabar.