Good morning Guys,
The hurdle called Energies FC of Benin Republic was disposed of yesterday although it hardly was the easiest of feats. 3-2 it ended as we scored thrice for the first time this season. Our returning strikers, Chinonso Okonkwo and Abdulrahman Bashir did all the goal work and we progress into the next round of the competition.
The gaffer handed Bashir his first start for the club and no sooner than the game started, he introduced himself to all those who didn’t know him or his Enyimba career. Like in the reverse fixture, Energies made the worst start possible. A flurry of early goals set the tone in Cotonou, it did as well in this tie.
But while the strikers were having it easy at the one end, our defence and indeed debutant goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa was having a mare. The Isiaka Oladuntoye and Nelson Ogbonnaya partnership hasn’t yielded much fruit and with Anaemena injured or rested, the leadership we needed in defence sadly wasn’t there.
1-1 and then Nonso Okonkwo got our second. Moments later, Energies scored at the other end. Then Nonso got brought down in the area for a penalty. He dispatched and put the game to bed. 5-2 aggregate and it makes you wonder how things could have panned out if we rested on our laurels believing the tie was won.
A news report early before the game said the Chairman charged them to see the reverse fixture not as a 2-0 advantage but as a deficit. That means, the team has to believe it needed to win and not play for a draw. And according to the result, it was a pep talk that worked. It wasn’t so with Plateau United who believed they would beat Etoile in Kano. They couldn’t get a second goal.
With the other games at the weekend including MFM’s destruction up North, it means all four Nigerian teams will now play in the CAF Confederations Cup. Akwa themselves too somehow could only rely on penalty kicks to go through. They say experience and understanding of the Continental terrain is vital in how far you go in the competition. I think it’s indispensable.
It gets tougher from here onwards but hopefully we will be ready for what’s ahead. Another positive? we can score when we need to. Really heartwarming to see.