Lions fired blank despite an improved second-half performance
The Selection

Team B’s goalkeeper Otaki Tope was called up to feature in today’s game due to Yakubu Emmanuel’s unavailability due to illness with young Gk Adeniyi on the reserves list. With Center back Emmanuel Sunday also missing out due to a knock and toe injury and skipper Ajeyomi Lekan named on the bench meant, the trio of Ojo Seun, Ucheibe Prince, and Adegbite Samson were called up to start in defense. Onome Adepoju, enjoying a fine form, started from the right wing-back while Akpovie Michael began from the left wing-back.

Afolabi Adeyina started in his familiar defensive midfield. At the same time, Emeka Okorie got his first start after a while in attacking midfield, with Hassan Musa, Okorie Chinedu, and Dahunsi Tobi preferred upfront.

Slow start

It was a plodding start to the game by the lions as they weren’t entirely in control of the game as they have always done. Despite the slow start, Okorie Chinedu should have given the Lions the lead very early in the game after he was sent through on goal by Okorie Emeka with a well-placed pass, but Chinedu took too much time to make a decision and was caught up with by a defender who saved for a goal kick by hitting the ball off him.

The first 45 minutes ended without any other goal-scoring chances created.

Improved second half

However, the boys showed a better zeal after the restart and could have had the lead just 3 minutes after Hassan Musa broke free from the right wing and sent in a cross which a defender handled, but the referee waved away the protests and calls for a penalty.

In the 52nd minute, Ibitayo Omolade, with his first touch after being introduced, sent in a teasing cross into the opposition’s box, which was met by a one-time effort from Hassan Musa, but the forward skied his effort over the bar. Amaechi also went close in the 65th minute with a free kick from the edge of the box but missed the top left corner by a whisker.

The boys kept mounting all sorts of pressure to get the deserved breakthrough, but it never came. We were fortunate not to have gone behind in the 77th minute if not for the heroics of GK Otaki Tope, who made a diving save to deny the visitors from firing home a free kick from outside our area to make sure the tie ended with no goal scored by either side.

What’s next

The boys are expected to be back in training tomorrow to continue preparations for the tasks ahead.

Wonderxchange FC (3-4-3): Tope. Samson (Lekan 48), Prince, Seun, Afolabi(Oloore 60), Emeka(Adedayo 35), Onome(Omolade 50), Akpovie, Oluwatobi, Musa(Amaechi 60), Chinedu

Unused subs: Michael, Temitope,

Booked: Emeka 12, Samson 22, Prince 40

Crankshaft FC: Pelumi; Nacho, Lanre, Obi, Adeola, Peter, Timi, Abbey, Idowu, Toheeb, Korede.

Subs: Starry, Soft, Yomi, Richard, Hammed, Tope, Ayo, James, Wacanda, Lati, Dammy, Sola.