Anthony stunner makes hay for El-Kanemi against Plateau United
By Adamu Usman Ahmed
Sunday Anthony scored a stunner as El-Kanemi Warriors beat champions Plateau United in wet and windy conditions in Maiduguri on Sunday.
El-Kanemi Warriors just did enough to make sure they got the better of the defending champions in a mission to keep their league status stable.
Michael Ohanu shocked the home team after firing his spot kick over the crossbar in the second half but moments after Ohanu had failed to hit the target from the spot, impressive play maker Sunday Anthony produced a scintillating performance by scoring a powerful leftfooted stunner beyond the reach of John Shuaibu for the only goal of the day.
The windy atmosphere in Maiduguri which later turned rainy was so intense as both teams got into action for the encounter.
The hosts were the first to ask questions as early as in the 4th minute of the game when they forced Plateau goalie John Shuaibu to make one of the best saves of the encounter, stretching to the far post to punch away a well executed free kick by Dasousa Anthonio.
The dominance by the home side, largely due to good combination by the midfield duo of Anthony and Anthonio saw them dictating the game. It was such team play that resulted in Anthony setting Ohanu on goal but the forward shot over the cross bar in 22nd minute.
Jessy Akila for the Champions as well failed to convert an opportunity for the lead on 43 minute when he failed to make profit from a rebound fell to him inside 16 yard box.
In a swift response masterminded by versatile El-Kanemi winger Sani Abbani got him sprinting down the right wing to deliver a pass to Lazarus John but the right full back’s beautiful effort on goal from a tight angle only hit the far post. The lack of clinical final ball upfront on both sides saw the game ending in stalemate for the first half.
At the restart amidst light showers, Plateau United striker Saidu Salisu sprinted through on goal between defenders Lucky Erimuya and Tchoanfine Pade, but a good reaction by goalie George Michael thwarted his solo effort at goal from inside the box.
On 55 minutes Ohanu again failed to put his team in front from a spot kick which he blasted over the bar after Elisha Golbe’s handball inside box.
But six minutes later Anthony produced a powerful individual stunner from the edge of the box and this time the lively goalie, Shuaibu was beaten in his near post to give Elkanemi the lead and the only goal of the day.
Substitute Waheed Afolabi came very close to increasing that lead against his former club with a nice free kick which though went directly to Shuaibu who gathered it with ease.
The result meant El-Kanemi Warriors moved two steps up from the bottom half to 13th while defending champions lost two places from 3rd to 5th position.
El-Kanemi Warriors: George Michael 1, Lazarus John 34, Solomon Ogberahme 21, Razak Aliyu 14, Tchoanfine Pade 33, Lucky Erimuya 6, Bello Kofarmata 17 ( 22 Afolabi Abdulwaheed Waheed 50′), Dasusa Anthonio 29 (2 Aghahowa Otakho 75′), Michael Ohanu 12, Sunday Anthony 37, Sani Abbani 15
Unused Substitutes: Adamu Abubakar 23, Ndubusi Nwachukwu 19, Sulley Mohammed 9, Nuru Mohammed 32, Williams Ukeme 31
Plateau United: John Shuaibu 16, Mike Zaruma 39, Daniel Itodo 3, Jimmy Ambrose 5, Golbe Elisha 6, Wash Bitrus 34, Tosin Omoyele 9 (17 Peter Eneji 74′), Akila Jesse 29, Saidu Salisu 35 (28 Emmanuel Odafe 65′), Ibeh Johnson 27, Reuben Bala 19
Unused Substitutes: John Gaadi 1(GK), Ibrahim Akide 15, Hamisu Sale 31, Bature Yaro 4, Clinton Peter 38, Emmanuel Odafe 28
Man of the Match: Sunday Anthony (El-Kanemi Warriors)
El-Kanemi Warriors 1-0 Plateau United
On target 5-3
Yellow Card 0-0
Red Card 0-0
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