Onuoha’s late winner for FC Ifeanyiubah breaks MFM’s hearts in Nnewi
By Fisayo Dairo
Substitute Uche Onuoha scored with virtually the last kick of the game to hand FC Ifeanyiubah a last gasp 1-0 win over MFM FC at the Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium in Nnewi.
Onuoha persevered to score in the third minute of added time in the second half and got himself sent off after earning a second yellow card for taking off his jersey after the goal but it wouldn’t matter to the Anambra Warriors who leapfrogged their opponents on the league table as a consequence of the win.
This Matchday 22 contest pit together the only two privately-owned clubs in the division with both teams neck-to-neck on the league table at 11th and 12th respectively before Sunday’s game.
The game started on a fast note with both teams creating scoring opportunities at both ends but the hosts especially were guilty of missing gilt-edged chances.
Abdullahi Aliyu hit an angled effort across the face of goal on the quarter hour mark but Samuel Kalu missed a better chance for the hosts moments later when he dragged his effort wide from close range.
MFM’s leading striker Adewole Adeniji should really have scored slightly against the run of play in the 24th minute but his effort after he robbed an overzealous Tochukwu Anuenyiagu of the ball missed the bottom corner by the whiskers.
Adeniji’s opposite number Chibuike Ezeh then missed a better chance at the other end two minutes later when Kalu’s miscued shot fortunately fell to him. The striker somehow hit his effort wide when he should have done better.
The hosts upped the ante in the second half but met a stubborn brickwall in the Ifeanyiubah defence marshalled by Moses Adikwu.
Despite falling into a low block to keep out their hosts, the visitors were able to get a chance on the break in the 68th minute but Clement Ogwu was denied from close range by Ifeanyiubah goalkeeper Sharp Uzoigwe.
Onuoha who came on within ten minutes of the second half for a largely anonymous Ekene Awazie thought he had scored two minutes from time but his header to Jimoh Gbadamosi’s cross came off the cross bar and into safety.
The striker tried an illegal trick of simulating for a penalty at the nick of time but was booked for his antic by referee Afolabi Moroof. There was none denying him his moment of glory though with just two minutes played in the four minutes of stoppage time.
The striker latched onto Anuenyiagu’s long ball, beat defender Adeyinka Najeem before hitting his effort to goalkeeper Folarin Abayomi’s near post from an acute angle. The goal threw almost the entire supporters into early Christmas frenzy and the striker himself took part in the delirium, getting a second yellow card for his wild jubilation.
The win took FC Ifeanyiubah to the top half of the table, up three places from 12th and with 25 points from 22 games while MFM slipped further down the table.
FC Ifeanyiubah: 21. Sharp Uzoigwe 2. Eric Oguocha 3. Chigozie Chilekwu 30. Jimoh Gbadamosi 35. Tochukwu Anuenyiagu 6. Charles Okafor 13. Samuel Kalu 8. Ikenna Cooper 20. Chibuike Ezeh 37. Abdullahi Aliyu 17. Ekene Awazie
Subs: 1. Yusuf Babangida 19. Ifeatu Onwugbonu 5. Joseph Babatunde 38. Paul Shalom 15. Ezekiel Haastrup 27. Christian Nnaji 11. Uche Onuoha
BOOKED: Chibuike Ezeh, Charles Okafor, Uche Onuoha
RED CARD: Uche Onuoha 90+3′
GOAL: Uche Onuoha 90+3′
MFM FC: 1. Folarin Abayomi 13. Moses Adewale 19. Justice Zacharia 21. Olanrewaju Falana 34. Moses Adikwu 3. Adeyinka Najeem 18. Clement Ogwu 35. Chuks Kenedium 16. Adewole K. Adeniji 10. Elijah Akanni 12. Tosin Olubobola
Subs: 33. Olatunji Odekunle 2. Khalid Shittu 6. Sewo Williams 11. Dennis Obasi 20. Ajanni Adegbola 29. Nnamdi Mejuobi 39. Izuchukwu Chimezie
BOOKED: Chuks Kenednium, Moses Adikwu, Tosin Adegbola