El-Kanemi Warriors Football Club of Maiduguri on Sunday defeated visiting Yobe Desert Stars FC of Damaturu 2-1 in a 2018/2019 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Group B Match Day 6 fixture.
The match played at the El-Kanemi Warriors Sports Centre in Maiduguri was watched by a large number of spectators, amidst tight security.
The hosts scored through Abubakar Umar in the 26th minute and Isiaka Adewale from a 40th minute penalty kick.
But this was after the visitors had scored through Abdul Usman in the 21st minute.
El-Kanemi Warriors’ Head Coach Mohammed Babaganaru later told NAN that his team played very well, describing the performance as “excellent”.
“First of all, we have to thank God for securing for us another three points.
“But, I don’t know how they (the league’s organisers) made the arrangement. All the matches I and my players are having at home for now are against my former clubs and players.
“We played against Nasarawa United FC some days ago and today (Sunday) we have played against Yobe Stars.
“`But I thank God that we have been winning all of them.
“When you are playing against a team which knows you, it is always difficult. Because, they all know what I want. Those defending will only counter-attack it.
“However, I didn’t feel threatened or have any doubt that the visitors would win. Football is just like a military barrack where, as they say, `soldier come, soldier go’,’’ he said.
On his part, coach Ngozi Elechi of Yobe Desert Stars lamented that the officiating of the match was dissapointing.
“Their first goal was a clear offside and everybody could see what happened in the field. There were two balls on the field and the referee refused to see that as an anomaly.
“He clearly knows that if there were two objects (footballs) on the field, the game has to stop. It is disappointing that a FIFA-badged referee is the one involved.
“I am not happy at all because it should be a disgrace to him.
“Even when one of our players was outside the pitch injured for more than five minutes, he refused to allow him back.
“He was outside and we were waving to him (the referee) for him (the player) to enter but he (the referee) ignored us.
“Where do we go from here? I am blaming the officials for my own defeat. Because there are certain things they want to cut off from my team for them to gain victory which was wrong.
“It was very very poor officiating. One, two objects (footballs) were on the field, and two, let them watch the video very well. The goal was an offside goal,” Elechi said.
The coach said his game plan was executed very well but the referee’s actions were against his team.
“I put the whole team under pressure, but the refferee was the one who in one way or the other tried to do a little favour, which was not good for the game.
“El-Kanemi went away and won, everybody knows that. So, there is nothing to it. Why can’t they lose at home?
“We must give the players the feeling that they can go anywhere and win in football.
“But the moment you are putting players under pressure like this, you cannot bring the best out of any player, especially when you continue to officiate like this,” he bemoaned.(NAN)