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NNL 21: Gateway United Daze Bayelsa United In Abeokuta

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Babajide Adewunmi-EverBlazin

Ogun State owned Gateway United side were outstanding in their matchday 18 tie against Bayelsa United at the MKO Abiola Stadium In Abeokuta in Sunday.

Goals from Michael Okolo and Julius Ikechukwu in both halves of the game earned Gateway her first victory in the last three matches.

Okolo gave Gateway the lead from the spot twenty-eight minutes into the game following a handball from one of Bayela United’s defenders.

Bayelsa United’s labor for an equalizer was frustrated by Gateway’s defence, making sure that they ended the first half as winners.

The hosts continued from where the stopped at halftime, asking much of the questions from Bayelsa United and got rewarded of their brilliance in the sixty-nineth minute.

Substitute, Julius Ikechukwu makes it 2-0 with a well taken strike having replaced the team’s talisman, Seyi Okeowo two minutes earlier.

Ikechukwu’s left footed strike in the box condemned the former NPFL winners to a defeat in the hands of Akeem Busari led Gateway side.

In a chat with the newsmen after the match, Gateway United manager, Akeem Busari lauded his team’s performance and also commended the effort of the State’s sports ministry.

He noted that one of the motivating factors for his side was the approval of two match bonuses by the state’s commissioner for youth and sports, Dr Kehinde Okuwadare.

“The honourable commissioner came to the dressing room to talk to the players and after which he acknowledged that we’re being owed six match bonuses from the last two seasons and seven match bonuses this season.”

“And from his office, he was able to raise two match bonuses for the players which is part of what motivated the players.”

Busari however called on the state government to do more in this regard as it’s a way of making the team more competitive.

His words: “This is what we’ve always been saying, if the dues are being paid in time, it helps the team in doing more in their matches.”

“Football is about money. If you want to buy the best legs you have to take money to market, if you want your players to do extra you have to use money, you have to motivate them.”

Meanwhile, Gateway’s next match is away from home to Godonsky in Onitsha, Anambra state on the 29th of May, 2021.

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