By: Gracious Akujobi The Super Eagles had their last test game before travelling to Abidjan on Tuesday evening in Abuja and came away with a hard fought 2-0 win over The Everlasting Arms Parish (TEAP) FC, of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
The highly entertaining game had among the crowd former NFF board member and Technical Adviser of Lobi Stars, Dominic Iorfa, current board member and Chairman of the NFF Media Committee, Emeka Inyama, NFF Director of Technical, Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme, National Competitions Director, Dr Sanusi Mohammed, former Flying Eagles and Golden Eaglets Assistant Coach Ben Iroha and NFF technical eye, Siji Lagunju.
Traditionally, Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi put his best legs forward in the opening half of the game but the likes of Chigozie Agbim, Solomon Kwambe, Benjamin Francis, Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Sunday Mba, Oladapo Olufemi and even Ifeayin Ede fail to break the resilience of the TEAP side in a half dominated by the Eagles.
Keshi didn’t lose faith in his squad but merely reinforced it in the second half. Ayo Saka came in for Rabiu, Junior international Alhaji Gero replaced Ezekiel Mba, while Chibuzor Okonkwo took over from Kwambe. It didn’t take long for the changes to start yielding fruits as a clever move initiated by Joseph Osandaye found Sunday Mba whose leg work deflated the TEAP defence for Gero to slot in the first goal. This was in the 48th minute.
The ding dong in the game continued until ten minutes later when Femi Oladapo connected Okonkwo to lay a cross for onrushing Ifeanyi Ede to nod clear. It was a classic and by then the Eagles have killed the game and were just enjoying the rest of the encounhter. The coaching crew noted it and withdrew the problables. Agbim was out for Akpeyi, Gomo for Mba, Ajiya, Ezekiel Bassey and Ebenezer Oloruntoba also tasted action, same as Ganiyu Atanda. When referee Aniete Ukoh sounded the bhome whistle it was clear who the better side was.
TEAP Coach Malomo Paris, said he was again impressed by the display of the national side and his own team. “It was a good game but the better side won and we know we should have done better but this is the national team.”. Keshi simply said, it was again work in progress for the national team.