Enyimba need to take the wages of the entire back four, put it together, and pay it to Theophilus Afelokhai. #DLBEFC -@TheOddSolace
It’s interesting to note that the two surprise starters – Afelokhai and Adetunji justified their inclusion on both ends, with the goalkeeper keeping Enyimba in the game till added time when the striker won the penalty for the winner – @NnannaOKalu.
I kick off today’s blog celebrations with these tweets by Enyimba fans Solace Chukwu and Nnanna Kalu. I couldn’t help but agree. This is in no way demeaning the efforts of the rest of the team but the striker and the Goalkeeper bailed us out time and time again yesterday.
The team-sheet was surprising. First a start for Afelokhai was unexpected to me. The usual name is Dauda – today, there was no Dauda anywhere. Next up the back four. The only expected name was young fullback Udoh Ikouwem. Anaemena and Oladuntonye replaced Ogbonnaya and Uche John.
The biggest shock was in attack where Sunday Adetunji our new signing paired up top with Bashir Abdulrahman. As is our fashion, we got started with a clear intention and for the first twenty minutes, we had them by the balls. How we failed to take those chances and put the game beyond a poor Djoliba side is beyond me.
Expectedly, the hosts grew into the game and to make matters worse, at half time, we stopped playing. It appeared we had resigned to just getting a draw. Trouble was, our hosts were not relenting. Up stepped safe hands Theo and time and time again, he pulled off some unbelievable stops. It was like the Etoile game all over.
Like they say, if you keep a clean sheet, you have a chance to win the game if you keep going. Few seconds after another remarkable stop, it was time for Adetunji to prove his mete. He picked the ball just like he had done all game, he drove into the area when some guy brought him down. Easy decision for the referee to point to the spot. Up stepped Farouk Mohammed and he made no mistakes.
Unlike some other Nigerian teams would’ve done in the Continent, we just hung in there till the end, thereby giving ourselves some fighting chance. The team does indeed deserve some commendation. It was truly a gallant performance. Well-done Guys.
This means we are second on the CAF Confederations Group C table and baring the FIFA Ban, we should be good for the next round. We enter the home game against CARA Brazzaville in ten days needing a point to go through. When we needed an away win to prove ourselves, we provided it and everyone – player, technical, administrative and fans alike ought to enjoy this.
On the FIFA Ban:
Tweet from Colin Udoh
Getting word that there may be no FIFA sanction on @thenff.
Nigeria’s Federal Government wrote to FIFA on Saturday agreeing, amongst other things, to allow football to be run on FIFA Statutes and to expedite passage of NFF Bill. Giwa? Toast #SaveNigeriaFootballNow