A 90th minute controversial penalty converted by Namso Edo was what Ibom Youth depended upon to earn a narrow victory over the hard-fighting Osun United in the week 5 fixture of the ongoing Nigeria National League (NNL).
The courageous ‘Omoluabi Giants’, who went to Ikot Ekpene with zeal and confidence, dominated the encounter in the first half and nearly had a breakthrough through John David whose fierce shot, after an exchange of passes with Rasheed Hammed was parried to the corner by Ibom Youth goalkeeper.
The in-form Osun United shotstopper, Arinze Okoro was superb between the sticks as he denied double, one-on-one attempts by Namso Edo to force the first half to a goalless draw.
There was a brief delay before the second half began as fans and supporters of the host hauled abuses and threats on officials, who requested for a tight security to prevent physical assault and attack from the angry mob.
The ‘Omoluabi Giants’ resumed with a packed bus at the rear, moving forward on counter attack while the host found it extremely impossible to break the stubborn defence marshalled by Daniel Edeh, Afolabi Olatunbosun, Jerry Okon, Mutiu Dauda and Seun Akinyemi.
The pressure continued to mount on referee Nweke Patience from Enugu, who awarded the penalty against Osun United when an unmarked Ibom player deliberately fell in the 18-yard after missing an aerial, well taken free kick.
The controversial spot kick was converted by Namso Edo in the 90th minute to give a depleted Ibom Youth their second win in 4 games.
Reacting to the match, Osun United coach Bright Omokaro lamented the way efforts of coaches are being thwarted by some match officials through wrong calls and decisions.
“This is the worst penalty decision I have ever seen in my life. My boys played to instruction and were able to prevent Ibom Youth to penetrate until the referee awarded the unjust spot kick for them in the dying minute. I see it as an injustice against us and a terrible error by the referee.” said Coach Omokaro.
Osun United dropped to 3rd on the log with 9 points pending the results of tomorrow’s matches and will host Gateway United on the 11th January, 2020 when the league resumes from the Christmas and New Year break.