Prime Football Club slumped to a 2-1 defeat on the road to Unicem Rovers Football Club of Calabar, in the Week 9 contest of the 2015-16 Nigeria National League season.
The Omoluabi Giants made a strong start to the game quickly finding themselves but they could not capitalize on some good forward play in the most part of first half at the U. J Esuene Stadium, Calabar.
Prime missed good opportunity to secure their first away victory on Saturday, as the team missed glaring chances to bury the game.
Lekan Oseolohun, Victor Okeji, and Ibukun Ojo, missed hatful of chances in front of goal, as highly fancied Hakeem Olalere, created lots of begging chances in the game but, the attackers were shy in front of goal.
Goalkeeper Ayo Ojo, with excellent reflexes denied Achare Moses and Asuquo Inyang fireworks in the 34th and 38th minute.
In the 40th minute, Hakeem Olalere set up Alaji Rasaq, whose stunner was saved by Franklyn Akwan in goal for Unicem.
Unicem were forced to make double substitutions with a minute to end the first half which ended 0-0.
Rovers came stronger in the second half and Etenpa Ekunta got the first goal in the 61 minutes via goal mouth scramble after Ayo Ojo made a spectacular save.
Ibukun Ojo missed a sitter to level up for Prime in the 65th minute.
Unicem were rewarded with a penalty after Olabisi Olagunju, handled the ball in the box for Eso Archibong to increase Rovers tally in the 82nd minute, before diminutive midfielder, Hakeem Olalere, pull one back for Prime from a corner kick goal mouth scramble in the 86th minute.
Prime came close to secure a point in the match but Olusola Akilapa’s free kick from 25-yard at the 89th minute was deflected to corner.
Rovers Coach Caleb Esu, poured encomium on his wards for the win and described Prime has one of the toughest his team has played at home.
“We thank God for the victory, it was a hard-fought win but I must commend my players attitude all through the game. Prime gave us a tough test and I think they are one of the best we have played at home.”
Prime Coach, Shina Afolabi, attributed his team’s 2-1 defeat to fatigue, stating that it could have been a different story had his side converted their opportunities.
“We didn’t play to our full potential due to the long journey we made from Oshogbo to Calabar and that caused a major set back on my team.”
“It was painful we lost the game, we had our chances but, failed to convert them. We attacked so well and I believe we should have won the game, but I must commend the officiating officials, this is one of the best officiating we have gotten at away,” Afolabi told PRIME FC MEDIA.
Prime will on Saturday welcome Delta Force and Coach Afolabi, recognized the importance of the game; “We just have to beat Delta Force to regain our confidence, that is not going to be easy, but victory against Delta Force is the goal now and everyone knows that.”