FC Ifeanyiubah faithful could not believe their beloved ‘Anambra Warriors’ had failed to bag the three points against Wikki Tourists as referee Habibu Ghali blew the final whistle in Nnewi on Sunday. The match ended 0-0.
The Matchday 25 encounter produced a number of thrilling moments, but there was no goal, and in truth, the Giant Elephant, as Wikki are nicknamed, had their moments and could have ran away with their first away win of the season.
FC Ifeanyiubah stalwarts Godwin Obaje, Seka Pascal, Tamen Medrano and King Osanga cracked a few brilliant moments in the first period, but were unable to get past the visitors’ goalkeeper Emeka Nwabulu, buoyed by the rear–guard of Harrison Madu, Ahmed Abdullahi, Peter Ambrose and Festus Umanah.
In the 8th minute, the crowd at the FC Ifeanyiubah Stadium rose to salute what they expected to be the opener as Seka Pascal, Osanga and Medrano combined to rattle the defence of Wikki, but the final ball by Medrano sailed harmlessly over the sticks.
In the 20th minute, Obaje rocked the side of the net from a Seka Pascal pass, and eight minutes before half time, Pascal waltzed his way into the Wikki Tourists box only to shoot wide.
Nwabulu was in imperious form, making one notable save after another as the home boys swarmed around the Bauchi Elephant.
Impatient home fans gingered their boys psychologically to go for the kill as they came out for the second period, and two minutes after the restart, Obaje came close only to see Abdullahi Musa intervene to keep scoreline goalless.
Nwabulu continued his remarkable evening, and despite their best efforts, FC Ifeanyiubah could not get the ball in the net, not even with Prince Aggreh and Ifeanyi Onuigbo coming in for Osanga and Obaje.
Understandably, the Tourists celebrated their first away point of the season.
Bala Nikyu (Head Coach, Wikki Tourists): “I want to praise my boys for this result. I told them before the match that it would be a bad outcome if we left Bauchi to play two matches and we lost both. So, we came out with a plan to get something out of this match. FC Ifeanyiubah is a good team; you can recall that they recently defeated a team 3-0 away. They are a team that can use the ball very well, but we came with a plan to get something and we were fortunate to do just that.”
Harrison Madu (Man of the Match): “I am very happy with this result because this is our very first away point in the League this season. We have not been able to get any point on the road, and I am so excited because we have done it right here, in my home State (Anambra State). In truth, when we were leaving Bauchi, our objective was to get six points from the rescheduled match against Akwa United (in Uyo) and this match. Unfortunately, we lost in Uyo. This result will motivate us to perform much better in our remaining away games, and we would even be prepared to go for victory in most of those matches.”
Man Of The Match: Harrison Madu (Wikki Tourists)
FC Ifeanyiubah 0-0 Wikki Tourists
Shots on target: 2-4
Shots off target: 1-3
Free kicks: 5-5
Corner kicks: 7-7
Yellow Cards: 1-2
Bookings: Felix Osia 34’ (FC Ifeanyiubah) – Victor Alegbe 39’, Ismail Bagayan 48’ (Wikki Tourists)
By Ademola Olajire