Okagbue talks up FC IfeanyiUbah chances ahead Pillars tie

By Tunde Liadi

FC IfeanyiUbah made it consecutive home win for the first time this season after a 2-1 win against Heartland in an OrientaI Derby tie played on Sunday.

For the club head coach, Uche Okagbue, it was a time to thumb up the performance of the players and relish the crucial home win.

“I am overwhelmed with the way the team played today. They really made me proud,” Okagbue told www.npfl.ng.

But even in the euphoria of the results, Okagbue has warned the players not to be carried away by the victory and urged that they shift focus to the next league tie with Kano Pillars in Kaduna by the weekend.

“We can’t continue to celebrate this win given on our position on the league table. We can only begin preparation for the next game almost immediately,” he concluded.

Okagbue recalled the 4-3 defeat to Wikki and insisted that winning twice at a stretch is a booster for the team in the run-in to their Kaduna tie with Pillars.

“The defeat in Bauchi was painful judging by the way we came back after going 4-0 down and it was key that we got this home win. This has restored our confidence and we shall be going to Kaduna with renewed hope that we can add to Kano Pillars’ problems”, Okagbue noted with a direct reference to consecutive defeats Kano Pillars suffered in the last two fixtures.

The Coach was not unmindful of scoring deficiencies of the team and pledged to continue working to make it right.

“We missed several scoring chances and were uncoordinated in the attack especially in the first half. lt is what we keep on working on and I am sure we are going to get it right very soon”, declared the FC IfeanyiUbah handler.

The Anambra Warriors sealed a 2-1 home win at the Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium, Nnewi through goals from Lukman Aliu and Nonso Nzediegwu in the 51st and 82nd minutes before the Naze Millionaires reduced the deficit in the 94th minute through Kingsley Maduforo’s individual brilliance.

Both teams came into the affair with contrasting results with Heartland FC beating Jigawa Golden Stars 2-1 in Owerri and FC IfeanyiUbah losing 4-3 in Bauchi against Wikki Tourists.

The early exchange was characterised by misses and it was the home team’s Uche Onuoha, Saidu Adamu and Ekene Awazie that were the major culprits. Heartland had their chances too including a sitter missed by Bright Onyedikachi from three yards away from the net after Chukwudi Nwaodu’s effort was parried to his path in the 39th minute of the game.

FC IfeanyiUbah who are 17th on the table with 28 points from 28 games will travel to Kaduna as guests of Kano Pillars at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium while Heartland FC are still in the 10th position with 38 points from 28 games ahead of their weekend home game with MFM in Owerri.

FC IfeanyiUbah Team List

21. Sharp E. Uzoigwe, 2. Eric Oguocha, 19. Evans Ogbonda, 6. Abel James, 35. Tochukwu Anuenyiagu, 15. Saidu Adamu (39. Emmanuel Uchegbu, 68′) , 13. Patrick Egeonu (36. Samuel Matthew, 90′), 25. Lukman Aliu (Simeon Umeh, 68′) , 7. Nonso Nzediegwu (38. Chinemerem Igboeli, 84′), 10. Ekene Awazie,11. Uche Onuoha (8. Ugochukwu Edeh, 84′)

Unused Substitutes
31. Abuchi Okeke, 30.Femi F. Emmanuel, 3. John Tsekaa, 32. Solomon Ovedje.

Goals: Lukman Aliu, 51′ (Assisted by Uche Onuoha), Nonso Nzediegwu, 82′ (Assisted by Emmanuel Uchegbu)

Yellow Card: Patrick Egeonu, 56′ (FC IfeanyiUbah)

Man of the Match Emmanuel Uchegbu (FC IfeanyiUbah)

Heartland FC Team List

13. Ikechukwu Ezenwa (1. Chijioke Ejiogu, 34′), 20. Chidera Eze,
17. Chizoba Amaefula, 6. Pascal Eze, 34 Augustine Opara,18. Emeka Atuloma (4. Jimoh Gbadamosi, 45′), 31 Kelechi Chimezie, 19. Chijioke Akuneto (11. Kingsley Maduforo, 77′), 36. Emmanuel Adachi (12. Pascal Seka, 77′), 16. Bright Onyedikachi ( 7. Chibundu Amah, 45′), 28. Chukwudi Nwaodu

Unused Substitutes

14. Uche Oguchi, 29. Chijioke Opara, 30 Issah Lenkat, 33. Monday Yakubu.

Goal: Kingsley Maduforo, 90+4′ (Assisted by Pascal Seka)