Vandrezzer Football Club came from behind to earn a valuable away point against Nnewi United in the Nigeria National League (NNL) on Saturday.
Substitute Okoye Onyekachi opened the scoring for the home side in the 85th minute but the Lions fought back to equalise in the 94th minute through midfielder Anietie Uko.
Acting Head Coach Alfred Madaki kept faith with the team that beat Nilayo FC last weekend with only defensive midfielder Uko returning to the side after serving his one match suspension.
It was a cagey first 45 minutes with both teams struggling to move the ball well because of the poor nature of the pitch.
Nnewi United threatened on a few occasion to score but goalkeeper Edwin Nwakama had little to do in the first half.
The centre back pairing of Ekerete Udom and Jamiu Suleiman stood their ground and came up top against a determined Nnewi United attackers with the imposing Udom winning 100% of his tackles, aerial duels and clearances.
Nnewi United came out more determined and physical for the second half, launching attacks at the VFC backline but Nwakama had very little to do.
Nnewi United's substitute Onyekachi had a chance from a corner in the 78th minute but his effort was well saved by Nwakama.
The deadlock was broken in the 85th minute when Suleiman misjudged a corner to allow Onyekachi to nod home the opening goal.
But the Lions roared back late in the game with a sweet team move. Udom started the move with an interception deep in our half, drove forward with purpose to beat to his markers, and the ball eventually got to Amos Okoro who then lay it to Uko from 25 yards out, the midfielder took a touch and unleashed a fierce strike to beat Nnewi United goalkeeper in the 94th minute.
There was a late drama when Nnewi United's goalscorer Onyekachi received his second booking of the game for a foul on goalkeeper Nwakama.
What it means
Vandrezzer FC remain unbeaten in the NNL this season with five points (1 win and 2 draws).
VFC travel to Osogbo City Stadium in Matchday 4 to face Osun United next weekend.
Centre back Ekerete Udom had a near perfect game with 99% aerial duels, tackles and clearances. He was solid as a rock in defense alongside Jamiu Suleiman.
Midfielder Anietie Uko returned to the starting XI with a fantastic performance and capped it off with a brilliant goal to earn us a second points on the road.
What the Coaches said
Actg. Head Coach Alfred Madaki of VFC:
"We earned the points because we put up hardwork for this game, it's rather unfortunate that the goal came in the dying minutes of the game. It's well deserved because the build up play from the defence was awesome and they got the goal from that attack, so I think it's a well deserved goal.
"We are taking a game at a time, we'll go home to the drawing board, prepare for the next game, see how we go about it and plan ahead.
"We came here to win the game not to draw, but either side, we still give God the glory that we've taken a point. It's a fair result, we have added a point to our points which atleast is comfortable for us. As we are going gradually, picking a points from other teams and adding it up is something."
Coach Ernest Obi of Nnewi United:
"It's football, anything can happen. We needed the three points but it happened this way. We played together as a team and thought we've won, but suddenly things changed, we will still go back to put our house in order and plan for the next. We must make sure to come out with a good result.
"The team played to instructions, in the second half we had to make changes which brought the goal but we relaxed and let in a goal.
"VFC is a good team, and I wish them a good season because I like the team as well."
NNEWI - VFC
Shots on 6-3
Shots off 4-0
Throw ins 18-23
Vandrezzer XI and subs
Edwin Nwakamma (GK), Godwin Ekpo, David Mark, Jamiu Suleiman, Udom Ekerette; Anietie Uko, Lolo Christopher (C), Lawrence Effiong, Amos Okoro, Michael Ipaye (Damilare Babatunde), Okon Otop (Daniel Kolawole).
Nnewi United XI and subs
22. Chiaha Chisom (GK), 23. Arinze Reuben, 4. Ikediobi Chinonso, 15. Fabian Fabian, 26. Ugochi Ejike, 25. Nwozor Arinze, 19. Osuagwu Gerald, 33. Nwankwo Ugo, 36. Egbuunu Odimegwu, 30. Nweze Omega, 7. Okereke Mmaduabuchi.
12. Vincent Adejoh
17. Nathan David
10. Nwosu Oluchukwu
34. Omale Innocent
21. Okoye Onyekachi
11. Elum Sochimma
Jamiu Suleiman, Ekerete Udom (VFC)
Okoye Onyekachi (Nnewi United)
Red Card: Okoye Onyekachi
Scorers: Onyekachi 85', Uko 94'
Vandrezzer FC...won't walk that road without you!