Good morning Guys.
So an Ezekiel Bassey late strike sent us into the quarter finals of the Federation Cup. For 92 minutes, J Atete held firm, refused to buckle and when it was just two minutes for the game to get to spot kicks, our winner arrived.
Yours truly didn’t see game, but a lovely soul Wale Mustapha, living in Lokoja saw it all and gave us live feeds from the game.
Enyimba XI vs J.Atete. Afelokhai, Akas, Ojo, Thankgod, Uche, Aliyu, Anaezemba, Etor, Osadiaye, Onyekachi, Chukwude #FederationCup
J. Atete XI v Enyimba: Onome, Olokotintin, Okoli, Egbeta, Ofili, Ovotu, Iwegbue, Gabriel, Nwachukwu, Shemaye, Egje #FederationCup
So evidently, Afelokhai is our ‘cup’ keeper so he got the nod in goal. The other surprise call was Udoji getting dropped to the bench with Ocheje, Ibenegbu, Bassey, Kester, Abu Azeez and Leonard.
On the look of it, you’d think Udoji’s bench place is primarily cos of his recent dip in form but when you consider that he’s the one player that has featured in almost every game for us so far this season, you’d see there are more than enough reasons for his exclusion.
We got started, with purpose and drive like you’d want your team to in a Cup game. Osadiaye, Nzube and Etor carving out the chances. Our opponents held us off nicely and were patiently waiting to spring a counter as soon as the chance presented.
We did have a couple of chances but our player ‘Bury DeChance‘ was left back at the hotel room. Some even said he didn’t even make the trip with us to Lokoja. He’s rarely featured for us, I mean the 25 year old Bury DeChance, but who can forget his flawless displays vs Vipers in Port Harcourt?
The second half saw the visitors start out with greater gusto and Afelokhai and his defense bailed us out occasionally. But that’s what they are paid to do, isn’t it? We also went close at the other end but we just couldn’t convert.
Mr Aigbogun felt he had seen enough and decided to try out a different permutation. Leonard entered the fray, Peter Onyekachi got a breather. But the goals wouldn’t come. Did I mention that Nzube got knackered at the end of the first half and was replaced with Ibenegbu?
When the referee indicated five minutes to be added, we felt this would go down the wire and penalties would decide this. But in the third minute of the five, Ibenegbu sent in a free kick in their area that Bassey finished off. Relief!
You don’t want to remember how Remo Stars knocked us off via penalties last year
The win means we have Rivers United to contend with in the quarter finals. What a fixture that should be. Aren’t they one of the most consistent sides so far this season? They’ve harvested four points off us in the League this season and that tells you we would be at our best to overcome them.
But that’s headache for another day. We March on. Toward Jos where there’s Plateau United waiting to ambush us this Sunday. We can pull them a surprise of our own.
Back tomorrow with something else.
PS. Many thanks to Wale Mustapha @Kindwale101 for the tweets and to @TitanChinakwe for most of the pictures of this blog.