After a poor start to the season with a 1-1 draw at home to Abia Starlets and a 4-1 defeat away to Lobi Stars, Delta Force FC proved they are up to the challenge of playing in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) with a 4-1 victory over visiting Jigawa Golden Stars in their MatchDay 3 encounter at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, on Sunday.
Jigawa opened the offensive early into the game but got nothing from Kingsley Innocent’s powerful strike which forced a block save from Delta goalkeeper Lukman Orire, with Papa Idris appearing late for a rebound, while Musa Lala failed to connect Innocent’s 8th minutes chip into box, allowing Isaac Oduro to clear out, just as they broke in again in the 20th minute with a string of passes to drag Orire out of his area but Lala’s final lob went straight to the hands of the recovering goalkeeper.
Delta turned over the offensives punching into several scrambles on Jigawa goal mouth, the best being in the 34th minute but Bamidele produced three saves from the three close range jabs to concede a corner kick in the 37th minutes from which Jigawa would pay for missing their earlier chances as Emmanuel Nnamani nodded in to establish lead for the homers into break and set the tone for what eventually became a wallop of the visitors.
Delta followed up immediately on resumption with Isaac Oduro curling in a free kick that puzzled goalkeeper Adeniyi Bamidele in the 49th minute. Othuke Egbo compounded the situation for the visitors in the 62nd minute when he received a pass in the box, then turned nicely and shot in for the third goal.
Jigawa tried to recover by making two quick substitutions which saw Mannir coming in for Musa Lala and Kenneth Christopher coming in for first-choice Adeniyi Bamidele who the bench thought was having a bad day after conceding three.
The move paid off with Saleh Salisu gangling in to score a consolation goal but Delta stepped up the tempo and raised the bar with the introduction of Kingsley Ezeali for Maxwell Ijeoma and Bala Yahuza for Effimi Nsi.
Yahuza’s got a fast break in the 88th minute and stepped ahead of the Jigawa defence line with only the goalkeeper to beat but his shot was feeble. He, however, proved his mettle, tapping down in the 89th minute for Williams Nmesirionye to gently wind in to increase the tally to 4-1.