El-Kanemi, Tornadoes play out 0-0 draw in Maiduguri
By Abdul Raheem
El-Kanemi Warriors and Niger Tornadoes fired blanks to play out a goalless draw in their NPFL Matchday 11 clash at the El-Kaneni Warriors Sports Centre, Maiduguri despite the visitors playing the entire second half with 10 men.
Tornadoes goalkeeper, Edwin Nwakanma was given a straight red card by referee Ahmed Rabiu, when he hit a ball boy close to the goal post as the two teams returned to the pitch from the break.
The match started with El-Kanemi on the front foot, piling pressure on Tornadoes from the outset, but the efforts of Sunday Anthony, Isiaka Olawale, Antonio Desouza and Nura Mohammed were thwarted by the visitors’ defence marshalled by Hussaini Isah, Reuben Ogbonnaya and Afeez Nosiru.
On two occasions El-Kanemi gained sight of goal, Nwakanma was there to make the save thus maintaining parity. El-Kanemi’s failure to make hay in the opening minutes gave Tornadoes the impetus as they took the game to the home side but poor finishing ensured that they could not breach the Warriors’ goal.
The red card given to Nwakanma changed the game as El-Kanemi mounted pressure after pressure on Tornadoes but could not make their chances count.
The half time introduction of Ibrahim Babawo for Sani Muhammad Rabiu provided Tornadoes with focal point for counterattack, as his pace and ball control troubled El-Kanemi. Babawo combined effectively with Uche Onwuasoanya and Bolaji Adeyemo to create problems for El-Kanemi whenever they had possession of the ball. He also had an effort crash against the post on 57 minutes.
The draw means both teams remain outside of the top half of the standings with El-Kanemi in the bottom-four.
El-Kanemi Warriors: 24 Jobe Modou; 13 Innocent Gabriel, 21 Solomon Oghenehire, 14 Razak Aliyu, 6 Lucky Erimuya, 3 Suleiman Dori, 17 Bello Kofarmata (30 Ocheme Edoh), 37 Sunday Anthony, 7 Isiaka Olawale (31 Ukeme Williams), 29 Antonio Desouza, 32 Nura Mohammed (10 Abraham Audu)
Unused substitutes: 23 Adamu Abubakar, 4 Promise James, 28 Sixtus Forsah, 27 Amaechi Felix
Head coach: Imama Amakpakabo
Niger Tornadoes: 12 Edwin Nwakanma; 20 Zango Abdulkadir, 34 Hussaini Isah, 27 Afees Nosiru Babatunde, 14 Reuben Ogbonnaya, 31 Austin Igenepo John, 8 Bolaji Adeyemo, 6 Ifeanyi Okoye (38 Bashir Usman), 23 Uche Onwuasoanya, 32 Sani Mohammed Rabiu (1 Terkaa Melai), 24 Japhet Daniel (17 Ibrahim Babawo)
Unused substitutes: 2 Iko James, 13 Ilyasu Isyaku, 4 Lukas Yahaya, 37 Liman Ahmed
Head coach: Hamza Abara
Man of the match: Ibrahim Babawo of Tornadoes