The 2016/2017 Nigerian Professional Football League season came in sight, anxiety grew, questions were been asked of teams especially those on continental engagements.
FC Ifeanyi Ubah was not left out of the continuous squad improvement, getting fresh and experienced legs to prosecute the task ahead of the new season vis a vis achievement of the seasonal goals.
The NPFL Super 4 wasn’t a fruitful tourney, the ups and downs of that six days competition remains a tale for another day. Which was followed by new year’s victory over Rangers International at the Charity Cup inside the main bowl of the National Stadium Abuja, where history was made again.
Its an applauding and amazing feat to be victorious in Nigeria’s Administrative (Abuja) and Commercial (Lagos) Capital in just two months, for a club a little over two years old, these are attributes of an ambitious club destined to go places. The positives, psychology and ambition became to go all out in this new season, earn some good credits and go a step further to win the title. The pathway to greatness is never a jolly ride and as such the road ahead is a bumpy and rocky one.
FC Ifeanyi Ubah got to Kano on Matchday 1, beaming with confidence, even when the team fell behind to what looked like an offside goal from Gambo Mohammed. They kept playing towards the mark, until they levelled up through a free-kick from Aggreh Prince but a wrong call courtesy of the referee voided it. The resultant of this call after the break was regrettable and it became a wake up call for the next game.
Knowing that the Sani Abacha Stadium experience shouldn’t be an excuse to make up, the procession back to Anambra State with one purpose was getting back to winning ways.
On Matchday 2 at the FC Ifeanyi Ubah International Stadium, the Anambra Warriors posted a four star performance and got four goals past Mountain Of Fire Ministries without a reply.
That game remained arguably FC Ifeanyi Ubah’s most entertaining match with the highest win margin in a single game so far this season, three points, four goals with a clean sheet was enough to garner confidence while Ilorin was the next destination.
Prior to the game inside the main bowl of the Fortress, FC Ifeanyi Ubah Chairman Mr. Chuma Ubah unveiled Coach Yaw Preko and 13 new players to the fans delight, three out of the bunch found the back of the net on their home debut. Nfa Yaya Kone opened the scoreline with his trademark screamer, Osanga King headed home the second off a cross from Elu Wilson, the only old member of the squad who scored was Oni Jimoh, he did it with style by rounding the goal keeper before slotting home the third, Ifeanyi Onuigbo struck the ball home from a free-kick and it was worth being the final goal of a classic encounter.
At the Ilorin township stadium, on Matchday 3, FC Ifeanyi Ubah dominated the encounter but chances created wasn’t put away, consequently all three points were lost. Chigozirm Metu scored a tap in at the 17th minute after Adeshina Gata’s initial strike hit the woodwork, it settled the game to the host’s advantage. Anambra Warriors deserved a point at least from that game but unfortunately couldn’t muster any, despite an all round active display and midfield supremacy.
Anambra Warriors returned to the Fortress wounded lions looking to make up for the points lost, a stubborn Stanley Eguma led Rivers United came to town and gate crashed the party on Matchday 4. Once again the team fired blanks, the points were shared by both the hosts and visitors, which took the team down the log and caused uncertainties amongst the ranks. It wasn’t a game to remember as a member of the FC Ifeanyi Ubah family, one of such chances were not much created and clear cut enough for the final third to be clinical.
Matchday 5 was a trip to the murky waters of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Township Stadium Bauchi for a clash against fellow Confederation Cup contingent from Nigeria in Wikki Tourist.
Aggreh Prince gave Anambra Warriors an early lead in the fifth minute but the home team staged a comeback through Richard Jonathan (brace) and Mohammed Guda then replied with the host running out 3-1 winners. Another away fixture yet another loss, this time around three goals conceded wasn’t encouraging vis a vis the performance of team and the position on the log.
Up next was FC Ifeanyi Ubah’s first Oriental Derby against Rangers International, CAF Confederation Cup games against Al Masry both at Nnewi-Ozubulu and at Ismaila as well as the next game away to Katsina United.
To be continued tomorrow, so stay tuned and watch out for more highlights of FC Ifeanyi Ubah’s journey so far at the 2016/2017 Nigerian Professional Football League Season and the CAF Confederation Cup premature exit.