By Akeem Abas
Hosts Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan on Sunday forced 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) leaders Plateau United FC to a 1-1 draw in a Match Day 12 fixture.
Ibe Johnson scored from a throw-in through a header to give the visiting Jos side the lead.
The home side were however able to equalise in the 81st minute through a penalty kick by Adebayo Abayomi, after Bode Daniel was fouled by a Plateau United defender.
3SC had struggled throughout to secure the three points from the game, but were frustrated by the time-wasting tactics employed by the visiting team.
The home team failed to convert several goal chances due to their weak finish.
NAN reports that Plateau United players clearly adopted delay tactics in the game, with several of their players falling on the pitch pretending to be injured.
Crisis nearly erupted on the pitch of play during the game, following complaints by the 3SC side of bad officiating by the centre referee.
But this was managed with the intervention of the Match Commissioner.
However, Coach Fatai Amoo of 3SC blamed the draw on weak finishing on his players’ part, adding that it was not an issue of creating chances but finishing well.
He said what was now left for the team was to work very hard on taking their chances in every game.
Coach Kennedy Boboye of Plateau United FC, on his part, said they went into the game to win but his players failed to convert their goal chances.
Boboye said his players wasted several chances, but he maintained that they gave their best in the game.
However, a handful of 3SC supporters were unhappy with the game’s poor officiating, saying the country’s football would not grow in such a situation.
Adeyemi Lukmon, a member of the club’s Supporters Club, told NAN he had expected the centre referee to sanction Plateau United players, who adopted time-wasting tactics on the pitch.
“I think you also can see how the Plateau United players were just falling on the pitch throughout the match without contact and the centre referee could not sanction them.
“I wish the League Management Company (LMC) officials will also take a look at the game’s video tape to see these anomalies.
“I am afraid that football will not grow in this country with such acts,” he said.