Good morning All,
We bounced back from our weekend defeat with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Abdul Makaiba’s Wikki Tourists. Three points to help our late season surge but it was some game we had against the visitors from Bauchi who themselves are in the title mix.
The gaffer made a few changes to last weekend’s line-up with Peter Onyekachi and Mfon Udoh the missing faces. In their stead, Ugochukwu Leonard and Ezekiel Bassey were both handed rare starts. Andrew Abalogu was named on the bench and that’s a first in a long while.
We got started brightly, pegged them back nicely and they were living dangerously with chance after chance gone begging for us. By the 30th minute we had made 9 attempts at their goal, incidentally also, just 3 of those efforts were on target. They were sitting off us nicely, hitting us on the break.
At this point, I’ll like to point out that Wikki’s transition from defense to attack is the best I’ve seen in the land all season. It’s simply put, frightening. They tried out those counter attacks a couple of times and our defense was parted like the Red Sea. Kudos where it due, like we said here yesterday, Wikki Tourists are where they are on the table by merit.
As we found them impregnable, they looked the more likely to score at the other end. Afelokhai was quick off his line to stop an attack but that was only a warning. I’ll say tho, we handed them that attempt their from our horribly executed training ground freekick technique. Just as halftime loomed, Obaje put them ahead.
Our defence failed to adequately clear the ball and it landed to some guy just to Afelokhai’s left. Spotting a free Obaje, he nicely crossed to him, the striker finished nicely. Some striker he is, isn’t he? Exquisite by them, poor from our defence. Someone asked immediately, how many clean sheets have we kept this season? I didn’t know then. I don’t know now.
Seething, we needed an instant response and it duly arrived in the form of Nzube. Did I mention that he had replaced Ibenegbu who got a kick on the knee earlier? Chukwude did well to hold off two Wikki defenders and set up Nzube who calmly placed beyond Nwabulu who prior to the time had looked unbeatable.
Minutes after the restart, we got our second. Dare I say, it came after some intense Wikki dominance in midfield. Nzube latched onto a ball couple of yards from their area and boy, what a screamer. Nwabulu stood absolutely no chance. 2-1! For the first time in the game, the game was tilted in the direction of the better side.
But Wikki were not done. They kept up their passing and quick movement and boy they got our lads chasing shadows sometimes. Mr Aigbogun sent in Kester for Chukwude to shore up the midfield and while kudos to him, Kester (and Razak) did well in burdening the pressure on our back four, Wikki themselves kept up their style.
Twice their strikers sprung our offside trap and honestly it did look close, however the officials deemed those offside. The third time when the striker was clearly offside and the official let them play, the yellow shirt fluffed the effort. We’d go back to that incident again and again but not a lot of people were convinced that the initial offside calls were legit.
But let’s also look at it from another angle. What if the speed of Wikki’s ‘touch and gos’ were too quick for the Assistant Referee and he honestly wasn’t about ruining the evening for the visitors? Perhaps with the complaints he was overwhelmed and probably felt, maybe the crowd is right and these guys aren’t really offside and then he let them play with the third effort which was clearly offside?
Little decisions like that can decide football games but referees are humans and to be honest, we see these things happen in football games all over the world. It’s only fortunate that it’s a call that favoured us this time. But fairplay to Wikki Tourists, I really hope they get a befitting reward for their efforts this season.
For us, it appeared yesterday was the first time in his career Nzube was scoring a brace. Shocking? Yea, to me. But what’s more shocking to me is that yesterday’s game was the first time any Enyimba player had scored a brace in the League this season. Make of that what you may.