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Taofeek Babatunde shines as Gateway United hold Solution FC to a stalemate in Awka

Posted : 03 March 2024

Babatunde Taofeek's equalizer secured Gateway United a crucial draw against Solution FC at Awka City Stadium on matchday 12 of the 2023/24 NNL season.

Upon the resumption of the second half of the league, Taofeek's goal canceled out Daniel Okpodi's opener as both teams shared the points, but the visitors emerged happier from a back-and-forth encounter.

The visitors showed early promise when Christian Samuel delivered a teasing low cross into Solution's goalmouth, but Odusina Sunkanmi arrived too late to capitalize in the 10th minute.

Joshua Oladeji then made a crucial save, stretching fully to claw away a dangerous cross.

In the 23rd minute, Solution FC's Joseph Chinaaza's long-range effort struck the upright in a dramatic fashion.

Babatunde Taofeek received Odusina Sunkanmi's delivery in the Solution box, evaded two markers, and aimed for the far post, but his effort went wide. On the half-hour mark, Christian Samuel rattled the crossbar with his rebound.

Fourteen minutes into the second half, Daniel Okpodi sent Joshua Oladeji the wrong way to give Solution FC the lead from the spot after Kabiru Popoola was adjudged to have fouled the scorer in the box.

Instantly, Babatunde Taofeek restored parity for the visitors. The Gateway United forward received the ball after a poorly timed header by Solution's Iyke Preye off Kabiru Popoola's through ball and calmly slotted it into the far post.

Christian Samuel almost doubled the visitors' lead, but his header was directed at Nwabueze Chinedu, who calmly gathered the ball.

Rather than crumbling, the visitors maintained total control of the game, but the search for a winner never materialized.

With this, Gateway United earned their second consecutive draw and remain unbeaten in four games.

Gateway United will next face Warri Wolves on their home turf on Saturday, March 9th, 2024.

Coach Samson Omiponle believes his boys' resilience and ability to execute instructions played a pivotal role in securing the draw.

"What a game. From the blast of the whistle, the boys adhered to the game plan.

"Their concentration was top-notch. We aimed to win, and we almost did. Our goal came from open play, an instant response to their opener."

"We will continue to take it game after game. Our attention has promptly shifted to our next match against Warri Wolves.

"We have to build on this draw. We don't just want to win; we want an emphatic victory."


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