On a very eventful weekend came Matchday 6, a game against Rangers International which was the first Oriental Derby for FC Ifeanyi Ubah in this 2016/2017 Nigerian Professional Football League season.
That fateful day the former league golden boot winner Godwin Obaje was unveiled to the world by FC Ifeanyi Ubah President, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah and Chairman Mr. Chuma Ubah.
Obaje came in as a substitute and assisted a goal like his teammates King Osanga, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi Pampam Onuigbo and Nfa Yaya Kone who all scored on their first home debut against Mountain Of Fire Ministries FC.
The wonder boy dashed into the box and tried to round goalkeeper Nana Bonsu who hacked him down for a penalty, Aggreh Prince stepped up and converted the spot kick which was the only goal of the day.
Prior to that action, there were angry moments for fans at the Fortress. Earlier in the game, Pascal Seka stepped up for a penalty kick, which he played with his weaker right foot and missed.
Most importantly for Anambra Warriors on that Derby day against Rangers International was all three points and an all important three points, next was the visit of Egyptian side, Al Masry SC.
The much anticipated match of the season for the FC Ifeanyi Ubah family worldwide was the continental game against the Hossam Hassan tinkered Al Masry SC from Port Said. Fans of FC Ifeanyi Ubah and spectators travelled from all over to see this game at the Fortress.
Then came the much awaited day, the stadium was packed to capacity and was fully charged creating an electrified atmosphere. For the first time the Governor of Anambra state Dr. Willie Obiano and a former Governor of Anambra state now, Nigerian Minister of Labour and Employment Dr. Chris Ngige Onwa both joined FC Ifeanyi Ubah’s President Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah with other dignitaries to watch Anambra Warriors outplay and outclass the Egyptians but found the back of the net once.
After firing blanks, the Stadium erupted when Tamen Medrano ran into the box, received a pass dribbled past one player and struck it into the net in the 87th minute of that lively encounter. That goal gave FC Ifeanyi Ubah the advantage ahead of the return-leg in Ismailia, Egypt the following weekend.
An FC Ifeanyi Ubah contingency led by President Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah made their way into the Ismailia Stadium, Ismailia Egypt.
Anambra Warriors held for as long as they could until the referee from Libya awarded the home team with a questionable penalty and they drew level on aggregate.
At that point FC Ifeanyi Ubah technical crew and players knew another spot kick would spell doom, so they tried to push for the extra goal that never came until the referee signalled for end of proceedings, into penalties it went.
The Al Masry fans were very unprofessional, they used laser beam throughout the encounter and at that point in time it was fruitful for them as they used it to flash on FC Ifeanyi Ubah players eyes when it’s their turn to take a kick and did same to Anambra Warriors/Super Eagles glovesman Ikechukwu Ezenwa when it was their own players turn to take a kick against the keeper.
The questionable tactics played out for them as Tamen Medrano, King Osanga and Elu Wilson all missed their spot kicks and the Egyptians converted all theirs, the rest remains a tale for history as FC Ifeanyi Ubah crashed out of the CAF Confederation Cup.
Returning from Egypt to Lagos, FC Ifeanyi Ubah travelled to Katsina immediately to face Katsina United just three days after losing out on the continent on Matchday 7.
Our goal scoring woes continued, Godwin Obaje made his full start for the club and impressed once again but the team failed to score as Katsina United capitalised on a free-kick taken by Destiny Ashadi right at the stroke of half-time to score the only goal of the encounter.
Afterwards it became a game played at both ends, Anambra Warriors tried to level up as Katsina United also attempted to add more which prompted goalkeeper Bamba Drissa to earn an applause from the home fans and a man of the match performance making point blank saves in that game, despite leaving the Muhammad Dikko Stadium on the losing side.
Beaten and disappointed, the team had to travel back to Nnewi and regroup for another encounter which was a tough one against league leaders Plateau United.
Plateau United came to the Fortress on Matchday 10 losing just one game on the road, drew two and won one away from home. The Kennedy Boboye tinkered side were the team to beat and the action that played out showed more on the pitch.
Once again Godwin Obaje was brought down inside the box in the 27th minute and Prince Aggreh converted the goal two minutes later to seal the game and send FC Ifeanyi Ubah back to winning ways once again.
It was a highly tactical and technical encounter but overall Anambra Warriors didn’t let the fans and supporters down with the three points sealed and clean sheet to boot.
Up next in FC Ifeanyi Ubah mid-season review, is a forgettable trip to Gombe then and unlikely draw against Abia Warriors at the Fortress in the second Oriental Derby, a win over Remo Stars in a rescheduled Matchday 8 fixture, a sad loss to Nasarawa United at Lafia and a dramatic win over Elkanemi Warriors FC of Maiduguri at home.
Keep a date with me until i come your way next time with more highlights and insights of FC Ifeanyi Ubah’s participation in the first stanza of 2016/2017 NPFL season.
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