Godwin Obaje’s solitary strike in the 50th minute was all the Anambra Warriors needed to take all points at stake in a keenly contested Matchday 29 Oriental Derby clash played at the FC Ifeanyi Ubah International Stadium Nnewi on Sunday.
The technical crew led by Coach Yaw Preko made just two changes to the side that were forced to a scored draw last Tuesday in Shagamu against Remo Stars as Loute Isaac and Ikeokwu Patrick leapfrogged Osia Felix and Baadu Isaac in the starting 11.
The Anambra Warriors kicked off proceedings on a very bright note with foray of attacking moves from the flanks with Huan John and Aggreh Prince tormenting the Elephants’ defence in the early exchanges, Ngoma Luamba had his headed effort from a delightful fly through ball from Huan’s well taken kick in the 4th minute just above the upright.
Goalkeeper Dauda Fatau had to come of his line in the 18th minute to punch clear an inviting ball from Aggreh directed towards Chijioke Alaekwe. Minutes after that his opposing number Drissa Bamba also made a telling clearance from an Ibrahim Mustapha’s freekick for a corner kick which the elephants failed to do the needful with. In the 28th minute, John Huan should have done better with his shot which went wayward from an Obaje’s cross from the left flank coming off the head of Ogbonnaya Nelson.
In the 34th minute Huan John was also at the centre of another good ball from a well laid pass into his path thanks to an overlapping Isaac Loute’s sumptous diagonal ball to Alaekwe but however Huan ballooned his effort high and wide. Three minutes before recess Obaje Godwin got to a through ball from Ikeokwu Patrick but his heavy touch let him down as Goalkeeper Dauda was on hand to make the easiest of saves.
The second half just like the first was everly going to be more entertaining with certain level of fluidity showcased by both sides in the first four minutes. The curtainraiser would eventually come in the form of 12th goal of the season for Godwin Obaje in the 50th minute as he held of his marker to put the ball beyond Goalkeeper Dauda from Ngoma Luamba’s assist.
Dimgba Stanley came close to restoring parity in the 56th minute for the Peoples’ Elephant after receiving a pass from Kester Kelly but Adeleye Olamilekan was on hand to provide the needed shield. Chijioke Alaekwe’s shot in the 61st minute sailed inches wide. Substutute Bright Onyedikachi four minutes after came close to scoring with his shot richocheting off Alakwe as Goalkeeper Dauda did the needful rushing off his line to make a save. There were plethora of nail biting moments for both sides and mild scuffle from both sets of players in the closing stages with the Anambra Warriors holding on to seal victory after two minutes of time added on by the 4th official elapsed.
FC Ifeanyi Ubah retains it 6th position on the log with 45 points from 29 matches played ahead of the upcoming midweek clash with league toppers Plateau United away at the Rwang Pam Stadium in Jos come wednesday.
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