Host FC Ifeanyi Ubah on Friday won the maiden edition of the South-East South-South Preseason tournament after defeating Port Harcourt based side Rivers United 3-2 in an entertaining Grande Finale. A well disciplined Anambra Warriors side under the tutelage of Coach Ladan Bosso ensured they took the game to the climax in dramatic fashion as Malachy Ihuoma’s treble sealed victory and ensured the trophy will stay in Nnewi for atleast a year.
Rivers United opened scoring through Emeka Atuloma in the 15th minute for the Pride of Rivers with the eventual top scorer of the tournament Malachy Ihuoma restoring parity just on the dot of the 45th minute with the first period ending one apiece.
The second half resumed with Malachy putting the Anambra Warriors ahead in the 56th minute after a wonderful piece of skill saw Ivorian Seka Pascal creating space and then laying a footie to Malachy who lobbed the ball over Goalkeeper Rotimi Sunday. Guy Kuemian brought the game even in the 81st minute as he capitalized on Goalkeeper Charles Tambe’s error to tap in the equalizer from close range to ensure the game would have a dramatic end.
A goalmouth scramble from a corner kick in the third minute of added time saw Seka Pascal’s header coming off the woodwork but a well placed Malachy was quick enough to direct his effort into the goal to send the fortress into wild ecstasy.
Reacting to the victory, Coach Ladan Bosso said the win will serve as a morale booster for a well disciplined side in anticipation of the upcoming season. Coach Bosso also opined that the tournament has afforded the technical crew and the entire team the opportunity to identify the areas to be worked on before the commencement of the season.
In an interview after the final match, Coordinator of the tournament Mr. Patrick Ngwaogu appreciated the stakeholders that made the tournament a success and promised that the challenges faced in this edition will be addressed in next year’s tournament which will be staged in Enugu.
Full Time Result
FC IfeanyiUbah 3 (Malachy-45′, 56′, 90+4′)
Rivers United. 2. (Atuloma-15′, Kuemian-81′)
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