5 Things We Learned From NPFL Teams|By: Deji Odeyinbo
PLATEAU UNITED STARTED POORLY BUT ENDED WELL
After their unbeaten streak was ended at Akwa United last week, Plateau United needed a statement result to stake their claim as one team to watch out for this season. It couldn’t have come harder than against a team that were unbeaten in their last five matches.
They started the game very flat footed with the team failing to impose themselves on Tonadoes for the majority of the first half. The introduction of Benjamin Turba into the starting lineup after being left out of the last match 3 match day squad brought a bit of creativity and guile in the middle of the park. It was definitely the key in unlocking the unwavering defense of Niger Tomadoes that saw Kabiru Umar score his 3rd goal of the season. Overall, Plateau United were able to exact their dominance during the 2nd half, playing with so much poise and elegance to show their intent in winning the League.
EL-KANEMI WARRIORS FINALLY CLAIMED ‘AWAY ‘ VICTORY
For a team that had an enviable record at their home ground where they won 17 games consecutively, their away results this season have been the complete opposite until yesterday. Playing at the Umuahia township stadium, a place where Abia warriors had not lost, the Maiduguri outfit did the unthinkable by silencing the home crowd in Umuahia with a goal with so much brilliance from the boots of Hussaini Bala. The Ladan Bosso-led boys stayed true to their ground play and Abia warriors found it difficult to cope for most part of the game. End of the day, El- kanemi warriors were finally rewarded for their ability to be adventurous away from home.
SUNSHINE STARS CAN BE AS GOOD AS WHEN THEY WANT TO BE
With the sort of talent at the disposal of Sunshine stars, you get the feeling that the Owena waves as they are fondly called have the ability to challenge for a continental spot. The duo of Ayo saka and Sunday Olorundare were a thorn in the flesh of Kabiru Dogo’s Nasarawa United team. The team kept their balance through out the game and the organization at the back was absolutely immense to keep United at bay. They just need to start replicating that sort of form at home to help convert the draws to wins.
RIVERS UNITED HAVE GOT ALL IT TAKES TO GO FAR IN THE CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
After playing a goalless draw away in Mali against Real Bamako, Rivers United put up a five star performance in their return leg at home putting four goals past their opponents. For a team making their debut on the continent, they played with so much authority and confidence. Bernard Ovoke was a beauty to behold alongside Esosa Igbinoba constituting a menace to any defense line. Guy Kuiman, Sunday Rotimi, Femi Thomas also comes with need quality and experience to take them far on the continent.
FC IFEANYI UBAH LEARNT LESSONS
For a privately owned team which was formed less than 3 years ago, FC Ifeanyi Ubah were undone by lack of experience on the continental level. The preparation towards the confederation cup wasn’t top notch, needless to say that they weren’t proactive in registering their top players for the tournament.Travelling to a difficult ground in Egypt to play the second leg of the tie, they should have kept a resolute defense and to be ready for the antics of the North Africans. Even though they pushed their opponents through 180 mins, you get the feeling that their loss of concentration in the key moment of the game was their greatest undoing. Either way, I hope they’ve learn their lessons and come back to stake a claim in the league where they have 3 outstanding games.