Mustapha’s goal rescues point for Enyimba in tight Oriental Derby
By Promise Etim
Ibrahim Mustapha’s 61st minute goal rescued a point for seven-time champions Enyimba at home to visiting FC Ifeanyiubah in a fierce Oriental Derby played at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar on Wednesday.
The visitors had earlier taken the lead on 43 minutes through Pascal Seka, who took advantage of a defensive error to beat Ikechukwu Ezenwa in Enyimba’s goal.
Enyimba dropped three from the squad that defeated Djoliba of Mali (2-0) in the CAF Confederation Cup on Sunday, with Super Eagles goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa preferred ahead of Theophilus Afelokhai while Ghanaian goal Fatau Dauda is serving a suspension period.
The visitors kept faith with the line up that defeated Go-Round FC (2-1) in Nnewi on Matchday 20.
A lacklustre opening half, saw both sides cancelling out each other in all departments. The first glaring opportunity of the half, should have produced a stunner, but Farouk Mohammed stylishly struck wide from edge of the penalty box.
Two minutes before the break, a defensive slip sent Pascal Seka through, leaving the Ivorian with no option than beating Ezenwa from 15 yards for the opener from a one-on-one situation.
Enyimba returned from the break, withdrawing Abdulrahman Bashir for Chukwude Stephen, in what appeared a tactical switch. The striker made immediate impact, setting up Freedom Omofoman, whose 25 yards efforts was close to restoring parity.
The People’s Elephant would wait no further as Ibrahim Mustapha advanced and stole the ball off Drissa Bamba, after the safehands struggled to keep out Austin Oladapo’s effort, just after the hour mark.
Bamba later made up for his error that led to Enyimba’s leveller, by tipping over Nelson Ogbonnaya’s effort from six yards, two minutes from time, to earn the visitors a valuable point.
Despite the result, Enyimba keep their place on the log, while FC Ifeanyiubah move to 10th.
Enyimba: Ezenwa; Abalogu, Oladuntoye, Ogbonnaya, Sani, Farouk, Oladapo, Freedom, Dimgba, Bashir, Mustapha
FC Ifeanyiubah: Bamba; Jimoh, Maamo, Awazie, Onyekachi, Sodiq, Chijioke, Ikeokwu, Traore, Msonter, Seka
Enyimba 1-1 FC Ifeanyiubah
On Target 3-1
Fouls Won 18-16