Katsina United produced a commanding performance to subdue hard-fighting FC Ifeanyiubah 3-0 in an NPFL Matchday 9 decided at the Muhamadu Dikko Stadium, Katsina on Sunday.
Eric Dufegha opened the floodgate of goals with a close range header five minutes to the interval, after Usman Barau delivered an inch-perfect cross. Tasiu Lawal doubled their lead on the dot of 45 minutes with his bullet of a shot into the roof of the net as Barau once again turned provider.
Destiny Ashadi completed the routing six minutes after resumption, his goal was similar to that of Tasiu, thanks to Dufegha whose low pass was accurate.
The visitors had a promising start as they dominated the first half an hour, and had clear cut chances early on. Patrick Ikeokwu smashed in a shot from the flank to force goalkeeper Yinka David into a save, before Joseph Maamo fired a low shot off the mark.
Seka Pascal almost put the Anambra Warriors in front, when his volley off Faruq Umar’s cross went wide by few inches. All three chances came inside seven minutes from the start.
Katsina United made a smart choice as they quickly resorted to a counter-attacking pattern. Sani Faisal and Barau had combined well, before Faisal’s attempt at goal was kept out by Charles Tambe. It was the turning point for the home team as they set out for several other fireworks.
At this stage, it was close to a balanced game, but the visitors kept pushing forward to keep their hosts at bay, Ikeokwu benefited from his solo effort to strike twice, with Yinka saving one and the other going wide.
Bright Onyedikachi was later involved in a counterattack on 28 minutes, his delivery was met by Seka, whose left-footed shot was parried to safety by Yinka, it was a glaring moment wasted out of anxiety.
The best save of the match would be credited to FC Ifeanyiubah goalkeeper Tambe in the 33rd minute. Ashadi curled the ball from a set piece, but Tambe stretched full length to stop the attempt.
Dufegha’s goal demoralized the visiting team, coupled with the marching order handed out to their coach Ladan Bosso, after he was involved in a verbal exchange with the centre referee.
FC Ifeanyiubah were forced to finish the first half with ten men after Bright Onyedikachi was stretched off owing to injury. Wasiu Jimoh replaced the injured winger on resumption of the game.
The second stanza was clearly a game for the home side as the rampaging squad took over possession to settle for entertaining football, kudos to their vociferous crowd that cheered them to clinching the three points.
It ended with just a yellow card going out to Chinedu Udechukwu of Katsina United, while Ashadi bagged man of the match.
The win propelled Katsina United to fifth on the league table, having amassed 13 points from nine games.