Two second-half goals from Osimaga Duke and Spencer Bassey gave Dakkada FC a comfortable 2-0 win over Jigawa Golden Stars in a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Matchday 17 game decided on Saturday.
Both teams looked toothless in the opening half with no shot on target recorded by either sides but the story changed early in the second when Duke lashed home from 20 yards two minutes into the half.
Dakkada made the game safe 19 minutes from time when Bassey rounded off a vintage Dakkada move which included team’s topscorers Isaac George and Femi Ajayi in the buildup.
Dakkada coach Caleb Esu restored his captain Aniekan Ekpe to the starting lineup after leaving him out of their 0-0 draw at Lobi Stars last weekend but Spencer Bassey did well to hang on to a starter’s shirt.
Jigawa Golden Stars coach Gilbert Opana handed a debut to former Golden Eaglets goalkeeper Danjuma Paul Dami who left Katsina United at the end of last season. Dami would have nothing to do in the opening half of Saturday’s game at the Nest of Champions in Uyo aside picking up what turned out to be the game’s only booking in first-half stoppage time.
The first half was played at a pedestrian pace with chances few and far between among both sides. The best chance of the half came in stoppage time when Bassey met Femi Ajayi’s cross with a scissors kick but the ball flew over Dami’s crossbar.
While the appreciable home fans – about 4,000 – grew in anxiety over a possible repeat of their last home game – a 0-3 loss to Nasarawa United – the story and entire dynamics of the game changed right after the restart.
A miscued shot into a sea of players was controlled by Bassey but before the winger could take a second touch, Duke hammered home a shot in front him and from about 20 yards for his first top-flight goal.
The hosts never had to leave first gear before adding a second in the 71st minute after a trademark Dakkada move. After a brisk transition into attack, Isaac George floated a cross inside the box which Ajayi chested down for Bassey who poked home beyond Dami.
Bassey could have secured a brace late on but his deft flick to Edim Efimi’s cross beat Paul Dami but not the goal post as it came off the foot of the crossbar before bouncing to safety.
It was game, set and match for the NPFL debutants who keep punching above their weight in the top flight.
Although there remains question marks about the way they end games at home, one of which almost gifted their visitors a route back into the game had Samuel Stone not fired a good chance over they claimed the win which provisionally takes them to 4th on the log.