FC Ifeanyi Ubah faced off against Sunshine Stars in Matchday 17 of the Nigerian Professional Football League at the FC Ifeanyi Ubah International Stadium Nnewi on Sunday. The game was decided with virtually the last action as Seka Pascal scored a phenomenal goal to seal victory after Godwin Obaje cancelled out the first goal of the game scored by Sunshine’s Abbey Joseph.
Tactician Yaw Preko made two changes to the side that defeated Tornadoes in midweek with Stand in skipper who served out a match ban in the last game making the starting 11 alongside skillful diminutive midfielder Michael Egbeta.
The game started on a sunny afternoon as the NPFL Galacticos kicked off proceedings by pressing the Owena Waves who remain encamped in their defensive half as the first chance came in the 10th minute as Egbeta’s Free-kick was saved by Goalkeeper Ojo Olorunleke, Sunshine later got theirs as Adeshina Thomas had his shot sail narrowly off the mark as well as a tame shot from Aggreh that was saved by Olorunleke in a half that was summarized by different displays of fine and resolute defending from the Akure Gunners to repel the attack of the Anambra Warriors who couldn’t get the curtain raiser in the first 45, as Obaje and Aggreh got their shots blocked by Alaba Adeniyi and Omaka Anthony respectively leading to the blast of the referee’s whistle for half time.
The second half started on an energetic note as the Warriors made attempts to get a first goal including a missed Volley by Seka and Aggreh’s miss from the penalty spot after Obaje was upended by Nojeem Raji in the 58th minute inside the penalty box. The Akure based side against the run of play took the lead after defending a series of corners, launched a counter attack as Omaka Anthony gave a square ball to Abbey Joseph who took a shot that ricocheted off defender Adeleye beating Goalkeeper Drissa Bamba and into the net giving the Owena Waves the lead in the 64th minute.
The goal spurred the magnificent Coach Yaw Preko into making a double substitutions bringing Tamen Medrano and Isaac Loute in for Micheal Egbeta and a farmished King Osanga. The changes paid dividends ten minutes later as Medrano collected a ball from an opponent in the middle of the park, passed to Loute who subsequently squared the ball to Obaje who beat his marker but got tackled by Goalkeeper Olorunleke for another penalty for FC Ifeanyi Ubah which Godwin Obaje got up and buried into the bottom right corner making it all square in the 79th minute.
Ivorian midfielder Yaya Kone was later introduced for Prince Aggreh in the 82nd minute and he had his 87th minute free-kick saved as Sunshine tried to counter but had their effort curtailed during those occasions.
FC Ifeanyi Ubah got the winner as a cross was floated by Yaya Kone from the left, which was headed clear to Medrano, who skillfully controlled the ball on his chest, then gave the ball to Obaje who now teed it for the exceptional Seka who single handedly dribbled and dummied his markers and calmly slotted the ball beyond Goalkeeper Ojo Olorunleke and into the bottom left corner of the goal to send the Fortress into a wild frenzy as that goal came on the stroke of 90th minute which was the last piece of action in a game that witnessed two further minutes added on for injuries.
FC Ifeanyi Ubah 2 (Godwin Obaje – 78′, Pascal Seka – 90′) Sunshine Stars 1 (Abbey Joseph – 64′)