Nigerian Professsional Football League 2016 Super Four…
Rangers International 1 (Godwin Aguda 49′).
Fc Ifeanyi Ubah 1 (Oni Jimoh 67′).
Football is a straight game, its a game were if you fail to field your best, the consequences remains a self inflicted injury. Yesterday it became obvious to the world that reasons why Fc Ifeanyi Ubah lost our previous two games was because we got many things wrong and paid dearly for it. Many pundits, analysts and even naysayers felt Rangers International was going to have their way or maul Fc Ifeanyi Ubah but virtually all if not all went home licking their sores. Yesterday’s game glared to everyone that our strength is in our central midfield and paraventure we can’t find a footing there, we will struggle even to draw games meant to win. The entire team played awesome, from Ezenwa Ikechukwu who made wonderful saves, to the defenders Elu Wilson and Kojo Baah who were busy with Chisom Egbuchulam each time he paid them visits of torment, Akakem Onyekachi and Uche Harry kept our Ariel battles won to Anambra Warriors advantage, except for Aguda’s goal, Eze Stephen, Tamen Medrano and Oni Jimoh formed a solid midfield while Osanga King, Kone Yaya and Wasiu Jimoh kept the Flying Antelopes defence on red alert. Overall we had a decent performance and almost stole the day but it ended even, regrettably we started late in this tourney but not late to start in the league.
The game kicked off with both sides knowing fully the stakes of this derby, it was fast flowing football, thrusts and counter thrusts. One noticeable fact was that the presence of Petit Cameroonian Midfield dynamo Tamen Medrano brought stability to the Anambra Warriors midfield which was lacked during the penultimate games. Eleven minutes into the encounter Osas Okoro tries a tricky freekick cross into Fc Ifeanyi Ubah’s box but it fails to find anybody and the ball went over. At the 19th minute Elu was foul but the resultant freekick was a furtile effort. Twenty-one minutes into the game, Rangers International’s Madu Christian gives a through ball towards Ocheme Edoh but Anambra Warriors Eze Stephen was on hand to make a fine tackle. After a fine interchange play by Rangers International, Chisom Egbuchulam lays the ball to Chidiebere Okolie who shoots from range but the ball went off the mark right at the 22nd minute. Fc Ifeanyi Ubah’s Oni Jimoh made a long run through the right flank and tries to break in but was brought down by Charles Henlong very close to the box at the 25th minute. Kone Yaya stepped up and curled in the freekick which was to tricky for Rangers International’s keeper catch but he ended up catching it after the initial slip. Osas Okoro for Rangers curled an in-swinger from a free-kick but Eze Stephen won the battle ariely and headed the ball away to safety at the 28th minute. Rangers International kept knocking at Fc Ifeanyi Ubah’s door, half an hour and two minutes into this encounter, Chidiebere Okolie who was enjoying a wonderful pair with Chisom Egbuchulam, laid the ball to the latter for a shot which went over. Osas Okoro repeated same for Chisom Egbuchulam at the 34th minute and the result was same. Ocheme Edoh tried to beat Anambra Warriors goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa with a long range shot but the latter made it an easy look save, a minute later. At the 38th minute, Chisom Egbuchulam charged from the right side, he tried to lay it off for Ocheme Edoh to finish but Fc Ifeanyi Ubah’s goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa was well covered and made the save. Four minutes to halftime, Tope Olusesi cuts from the left side of attack and shoot but it was a furtile effort as the ball went off the mark. Rangers International almost opened the flood gates a minute to halftime, a loose cross fell to Egbuchulam but his shot inside the box was saved point blank by Ezenwa.
Rangers International had the better chances at the first half, the half time was an opportunity to break and analyse what next to do. The pep talk was helpful to Anambra Warriors because the came back smoking and better at the second half. After a minute of play, Fc Ifeanyi Ubah’s Oni Jimoh laid a fine pass from the right flank to Kone Yaya but he failed to reach the ball. At the 49th minute, Tope Olusesi crossed a long ball ball to Chisom Egbuchulam who headed it Godwin Aguda and on the same veil he headed home the goal. Anambra Warriors one goal short, responded as Kojo Baah lobed the ball towards Kone Yaya but his shot was weak at the 53rd minute. The Flying Antelopes Chisom Egbuchulam surges forward in a lone man counter attack but Oni Jimoh who was disposed for the counter caught up with him and made a fine tackle at 55th minute. At the 57th Osas Okoro curled a tricky cross into the box but Fc Ifeanyi Ubah’s goalkeeper Ezenwa Ikechukwu was on hand to catch the ball. King Osanga for Fc Ifeanyi Ubah almost equalized, he dribbled pass two defenders and wasted time before shooting prompting the Rangers International keeper Emmanuel Daniel to recover and save the ball, a minute short of an hour. The excitement and massive game continued, at the hour mark, Coach Yaw Preko made his first substitution which saw Kone Yaya make way for Isaac Stephen. After one hour and five minutes Rangers still led by a lone goal, Osas Okoro once again tried to locate Chisom Egbuchulam but the latter’s effort went side netting. Second substitution came on time at the 68th minute, Uche Harry made way for Adou Blaise and at the restart of proceedings within same time frame, Fc Ifeanyi Ubah even the scores from a through pass lashed to Oni Jimoh who calmly found the back of Rangers International’s net. Sixteen minutes from time, Fc Ifeanyi Ubah almost went in front, Elu Wilson laid a fine through ball the Isaac Stephen but he failed to catch it and the ball went over the line. Rangers International who was hungry and eager to lift the trophy came out like wounded lions, Tope Olusesi exchanged one-two passes with Chisom Egbuchulam but his shot was deflected for a corner at the 76th minute. Eighty-three minutes of play, Isaac Loute came in for King Osanga in Anambra Warriors penultimate substitution. At the 84th minute, Rangers had a corner headed out by Fc Ifeanyi Ubah’s Akakem Onyekachi and the ball fell to Madu Christian whose rebound went off. A minute later, Fc Ifeanyi Ubah’s goalscorer Oni Jimoh was fouled and Loute Isaac curled in a trick freekick which was headed out to safety by the Rangers International defence. At the stroke of time Onyebuchi Ajunwa came on for Wasiu Jimoh who quite silent on the ball game but was torment to the Rangers International defence off the ball.
Overall we saw a new look Fc Ifeanyi Ubah, a team different from what we saw against Wikki Tourist on matchday 1 and the worst against Rivers United on matchday 2. As earlier stated, we noted our error, made adjustments and moved on, without been told we did pretty awesome at the end of the day. The season is around the corner, our confidence is been restored, we look to see more of better days, our midfield will be solid like we had last season. Its good to know Ngoma Luamba who missed this tournament due to some family engagements would be back soon with the team and as we move ahead, expect more from the Anambra Warriors. This is going to be one massive season for Fc Ifeanyi Ubah and we won’t take any chance, with all due respect to Coach Kenichi Yatsuhashi, he got alot of things wrong but overall we have moved on working hard for the best. It was an experience worth it, the Super 4 has come and gone, the highlights remains memories now and up next Nigerian Professsional Football League season 2016/2017.
Keep Faith and Continue Supporting
Anyi Bu Ndi M’meri