The last morning I got up feeling this way for Enyimba was just after the 0-0 draw with Warri Wolves that saw us cling the title last season. This morning, I sit looking at my desk and grateful that I have no excuses to make, no apologies or defense to make for another poor showing by the boys. They just let their performance yesterday write my blog for me today. Who doesn’t like this feeling on a Monday morning?
The guys from Burundi got a bashing yesterday, 5-1 to the good guys and we have one foot and a half onto the next Champions League round. Let’s talk of the game.
Mr Aigbogun preferred Pyagbara and Chukwude in attack with Mfon and Osadiaye on the flanks. Ibenegbu and Dare Ojo were in the middle while the back five picked itself Afelokhai, Uwadiegwu, Udoji, Anyanwu, Uche John.
We started as though one of the Vital’O players stole Chief Anyansi’s mobile phone and the boys were asked to harrass them till they produced it. I was trying to tweet every action of the game via the@enyimbaenyi and @bigsammy08 accounts but never have I seen us create this many chances per minute. Pyagbara and Chukwude both had chances before Ibenegbu saw his goal bound strike blocked. They also were unafraid to have a go at us at the other end but we were switched on defensively.
I did see something I hadn’t seen in years, they tried to attack us down our left and guess who won the ball at the edge of our box? Obviously, your guess was wrong. Mfon Udoh. Prior to the game, he had asked for a win as a perfect birthday gift, but the young man also knew that one of the easiest ways to get something done is by getting it done yourself.
Soon after the goals started pouring. The first came, well worked to Chukwude who finished with aplomb. Seven minutes later, we doubled and what a strike it was. Mfon received the ball outside the box, he just glanced at the keeper and nonchalantly curled it to the keeper’s right. He knew it was going in the moment he released it and in it flew into the goal. 2-0.
Ten minutes letter, Chukwude got his brace. From the edge of the box, his was a fierce strike that two goalkeepers wouldn’t have kept out. Osadiaye had a chance before the interval but their very overworked keeper pushed it wide. We got into the interval with a 3-0 lead.
We began the second as we ended the first on full throttle and twice Mfon got freed down their right, his blistering pace too much for the poor fullback assigned to him. The first chance pulled a good save from their GK while the second trickled inches wide. Chukwude then decided to help him. Escaping down their left, he fired across goal, Mr Udoh was handy to bundle in Number 4.
The carnival mood got dampened by a defensive lapse that saw them pull a goal back. At 4-1 you knew it didn’t quite look good anymore. So Paul pulled out Pyagbara who I think looked quite leggy in the second half. On came Ugochukwu Leonard and the striker wasted no time to get on the scoresheet. Driving in from their right, he feinted past two defenders and fired home to restore our four goal cushion. At this point, our opponents were already down on their knees and the kindhearted referee came to their rescue, ending proceedings shortly afterwards.
It was a truly satisfying performance. One we can describe as an attacking masterclass and for once this team never looked like the disjointed bunch we had seen in recent weeks. Every one was on fire starting from the defenders, Uwadiegwu, Udoji in particular, rock solid Emma and Uche John. Afelokhai did the little he was asked to do very well and the goal was not his fault. He did save us blushes few minutes before full time when one of them escaped into our area but he made himself so big the striker missed the target.
Our midfield generals Ikechukwu Ibenegbu and Dare Ojo were just a joy to watch. Like twin brothers, they both make the difficult things look simple. Win the ball cleanly and release a pass before the one disposed realizes the ball had gone. We did look like a team at the same wavelength finally. Our strikers did well and chance after chance that they created, had they taken all, we would’ve been doubled figures.
The team is still a work in progress but this result will do our confidence some good. We would not fire five past every opponent but for the first time this team has shown fans that they deserve to be trusted and supported.
It’s only a Burundian side no doubt but they are their League Champions and this was nothing less than a job well done.
PS. Today is Mfon Udoh’s birthday. Here at thatenyimbafan.com we celebrate him and we remain grateful for all he is and stands for with us. May this year be your best year so far. God bless you man.