NPFL: Tornadoes coach blames referee after routine loss

NPFL: Tornadoes coach blames referee after routine loss

Niger Tornadoes head coach Erasmus Onu was an angry man after his side lost 0-2 to Rivers United in Sunday’s Nigeria Professional Football League Match Day nine game in Port Harcourt.

Onu’s wards conceded a controversial opener on sixteen minutes when Osita Ekere headed home Bernard Ovoke’s corner. The goal was trailed by serious protests by the visiting team for an infringement on the goalkeeper Mustapha Aliko.

CHAN Super Eagles winger Emeka Ogbugh made the game safe with a well-taken free kick on 28 minutes on his return to the Rivers side after national team duties in Morocco.

Onu was displeased with the manner at which his side went behind and believes it was a defining moment in the game.

“The question you will ask me is; was the referee fair? You people are there to judge,” Onu told journalists after the game.

“The first goal was used to demoralise my team and they got what they wanted.

“He (the referee) used it (the goal) to demoralise the boys because everybody saw how the goalkeeper was held,” added the former Heartland coach.

Sunday’s loss – their sixth of the the nine weeks old season – takes Niger Tornadoes to the bottom of the table and leaves Onu’s future as the team’s head coach hanging in the balance.

His first choice goalkeeper and captain Mustapha Aliko however believes his teammates gave their best in Sunday’s game.

“My team did well. In the second half, we were marvellous to watch.

“We did not score but if I am to rate my team, I will say ten over ten. We did not win due to ill-luck but we did well,” said Aliko

Tornadoes will host Abia Warriors in their next game but must find a venue after the League Management Company on Saturday suspended their home ground; Confluence Stadium, Lokoja due to the poor state of the facility.

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