NPFL U-15 Promises: Late drama brings Owerri to a close

By Fisayo Dairo

Rivers United finished top of Group A of the NPFL Under 15 Promises tournament after a last gasp goal by Adolphus Ibinabo secured a 1-1 draw with FC Ifeanyiubah on Friday.

The Government Secondary School, Borokiri student scored with virtually the last kick of the ball at the Owerri centre of the NPFL Under-15 Promises tournament to rescue a table-topping point for United.

With United firmly in control of the group having won their first three group games, FC Ifeanyiubah who also had the same record as United but inferior goals difference seized the moment on the half hour mark.

The impressive Tunde Bello was fouled inside the box and picked himself up to finish from the penalty spot to give Ifeanyiubah the lead in an evenly contested game.

With just few seconds left in the game, Rivers midfielder Felix Ojuah sensationally created a piece of magic out of nothing, going past three of his markers before squaring from the byline for Ibinabo to tap home.

FC Ifeanyiubah's Tunde Bello who was one of the shinning lights of the Owerri tournament lamented the loss to www.npfl.ng after the game.

"We should top this group," the Lagos-born youngster said after the game.

"I'm very sad but I just believe that maybe that's how God want it because we gave it our best," added the Isale-Eko Junior Secondary School student.

Bello, a big fan of FC Ifeanyiubah star, Prince Aggreh is however confident his team will excel at the Lagos finals.

"I'm sure we will do well in Lagos. I have my people and friends there that will also come to support me," added the versatile attacker.

In the day's early game which was sarcastically dubbed "Loser's final" by participants in Owerri, Enyimba came from behind to edge local rivals Abia Warriors 2-1 in an Abia Classico.

Warriors deservedly went in front on 15 minutes when Enyimba defender turned Chukwudi Igbokwe's cross into his own net but the baby Elephants promptly replied with two penalty goals by set-piece specialist, Chinonso Romanus.

Romanus restored parity on 18 minutes after Joshua Emmanuel hacked down Earnest Ogbuji inside the box and then netted what turned out to be the winner after the hour mark when Warriors goalkeeper Kingsley Onyebuchi felled Godswill Anyanwu.

Enyimba thus finished the group on 3 points with Abia Warriors finishing bottom of the group with no points from their four games.