Our Sunday’s match report here in the blog ended only in the first half and then the ugly incidents of the interval. Soon after the restart, Nasarawa United finally took the lead. It was always coming and beyond a shadow of doubt, Nasarawa was the better side on Sunday. But that was never the bone of contention- a home side is expected to show more attacking intent, shouldn’t they?
Trouble is, it was Abdulrahman Bashir who decided the encounter yet again. Like a script from a movie, it had to be him. That is the third game in four fixtures that he either scored or contributed an assist against us. He does love playing against a team that lost hope with him and his injuries and shipped him out to Nasarawa United for a swap with Ugochukwu Leonard.
This same fixture last year, he netted the winner. Then the Federation Cup semifinals in Ibadan, where his tussle with Afelokhai saw us give away a penalty. And Seun Sogbeso dispatched the resultant spotkick and our hopes of a trophy last season was coffined in. But he does love scoring against us, Bashir, I mean, doesn’t he?
Which leads me to wondering how things might have turned out if we had stuck with him. For those who don’t know. A couple of seasons ago, we signed up Bashir and after an explosive Super 4, he was to lead the line for us. But after a horrible injury, his season was cut short. Enyimba nursed him back to fitness – he was out for over nine months.
At the end of the rehabilitation process, Bashir was thrust into action again. But maybe due to the lengthy layoff, he didn’t look like he would hit those heights yet again. Bereft of confidence and severely lacking match action and fitness, the club wondered if keeping him on their books with little or no returns was worth it. A decision had to be made.
Nasarawa had a striker who was in beastly mode the season concluding and Enyimba wanted him. A deal was agreed- Leonard and Bashir swapped places and you know the rest of it. Leonard hasn’t done too badly himself – but joining Enyimba meant he wasn’t guaranteed starts that often like he was in Nasarawa. So goals haven’t been pouring in like expected.
Anyone can pass judgement by virtue of hindsight. But we can’t really blame the club- they moved to do what was best or what they thought was best for the club. This time, it backfired and lo, he’s our new Nasarawa nemesis. No blames on the management – nobody saw this coming. You would be one with the highest faith ever to believe that Bashir would be this good again.
Perhaps this is why Enyimba keeps trusting that Obiozor would make a perfect recovery and get back to being the best we know he’s capable of. I think he would – but hardly do people become world beaters by merely wishing so. It takes faith, hardwork, commitment and discipline to get there. I’m pretty much certain that’s exactly how Abdulrahman Bashir did it.