Sunday, June 18, 2017

Match Day 25 Report: 3SC beat ABS 2-0 in Ibadan




Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan (3SC), on Sunday at the Adamasingba Stadium, defeated visiting Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) Ilorin FC 2-0.


The match day 25 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) encounter started brightly for the hosts as they were always bombarding the Saraki Boys defense.


The Fatai Amoo tutored side were very wasteful in front of goal in the first half thanks to the bravery display of Saraki Boys back line.


Chinedu Ajanah and Ibrahim Omolayo were always truncating a well coordinated attacking moves by the 3SC duo of Ajani Ibrahim and Wasiu Jimoh.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Uyo Dairies: Day Two-Horror flick and some popcorn.


I don’t even know how to start this. I’m just not in the mood but I promised some folks I was gonna do this so here we go.

My second day in Uyo started at around 6.30 am when I work up with a bad headache. Evidently the groove from the previous night had taken it’s toll on me.

I haven’t really danced like I did in a long time but when you are with colleagues, you just have to catch all the fun you can. I dressed up and headed out for my usual early morning run.

Chris Ogugou was surprised seeing me dash off for my run in the light showers and wished he had my physique and mindset as per exercising.

Anyways, 20 minutes later I was back at the hotel and did some stretches too. China Acheru then called me to come downstairs for breakfast which was coffee, sardines and bread. That PH nigga can be a good guy if he wants to be.

Debola and Jessica Amadi came down to my hotel to see me with their breakfast in tow. I played a fast one on the Debola.

She stretched her hand for a hug and I refused. I saw the horror on her face, but I didn’t want to shake her.

I gave her a full, proper French hug and then the smile came back. That was our first time of meeting and it was nice finally putting a face to her name.

Queen John also found her way to the hotel and we played catch up as it was my first time meeting her also.

I later had a brief tutorial session with Richard Esiegbu Jnr, Jessica Amadi, Oham Precious, Moseph Ekine and Busayo Olowokere where we discussed how to write match reports and general stuff when it comes to football writing.

China Acheru insisted we leave for the stadium early as he envisaged it might get rowdy like the game against Algeria.

All set
I took his advice and off we went in Dr Bello’s car. 15 minutes later we were at the stadium, took a few pictures and went up to the media tribune.

It was fun before the game began, debates, banters and folks predicting the game but only if we knew what the outcome will be.
Before the mess that was the game
For such a stadium, the media tribune and the conference room is well below standard.

I don’t want to talk about the game itself because it left a sour taste in my mouth. I didn’t even attend the presser after the game because the room was like an oven.

In fact, a a point in the game I resorted to a bag of popcorn and a soft drink. It was like I was at the movies watching a horror movie flick.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Uyo Diaries: Day 1

I was excited to go cover the Super Eagles game against South Africa for so many reasons. Chiefly because it will be my first Eagles game in nearly two years since my chase for the golden fleece took me abroad.

Can I also add that I missed all the fun and drama with colleagues. The thing about assignments like that is everyone from all over Naija makes it down so it is an opportunity to play catch.

The other reason is one I can’t drop here but feel free to take a wild guess. No prizes for that sha as per no be for my mouth una go hear say....

So my journey to Uyo started on a Friday when I had to navigate my way to Abuja to get a flight. If you live in Jos, Minna, Kaduna or Bauchi and you’re not a big fan of Nigerian roads, then you will understand this part of the post.

I won’t bore you with how I got to the airport, that part was terrible and I nearly missed my flight in the process but thankfully, Nigerian airlines, known for their delays helped me this time around.
 
With Mallam Farouk Yarma
As usual with airports, they are a melting point. So there I was waiting for the flight to Uyo with big wigs like LMC chairman Shehu Dikko, NFF Board member Ahmed Fresh, NFF GS Dr Mohammed Sanusi, Senate House Committee of Sports Leader Hon Gaya and Gombe State Commissioner of Sports and Youth Empowerment Mallam Farouk Yarma.

With Shehu Dikko before departure
Yarma became my ‘gist’ partner. We spoke about Nigerian football and grass-roots development. My respect for him grew in leaps and bounds.

We finally boarded and 50 minutes later we were in Uyo.

I don’t like Uyo..errr....please don’t crucify me. I prefer Calabar, not necessarily for the fine women or the clean roads but everywhere is within touching distance. Every where in this case means the airport, Eagles team hotel and the stadium.

I got to my hotel that was reserved for me by my seniorman China Acheru, who by the way has failed our bet of reducing his tommy. I’m calling on everyone reading this to tell China Acheru aka Ikwerreman to pay up. My 500 Euros must be paid before we leave Uyo or else I will show him I’m a proper Jos boy.

This is not a threat.
Anyways so I dropped my bags and headed out to the Eagles nest at Le Meridien Hotel and Resort. I met Chika, a member of the Supporters Club whom I last saw in 2015 at the CAF U17 Championship in Niamey.

With Chika of the NFSC
It was a nice reunion to be candid and I was happy to see her after about two years plus. I also had a chance to pick Shehu Dikko’s brains and I must say I’m impressed with the gentleman. I was able to catch up with Shehu Abdullahi, Moses Simon, Ogenyi Onazi and John Ogu and we decided to continue the ‘gist’ when Nigeria hopefully beat South Africa.

Something strange happened. I bumped into South Africa midfielder Andile Jali whom I last met in 2012. I took a selfie with him then, He could not remember me so I brought out the picture for him to see. 





Dude was shocked, so right there on the spot we decided to do a before and after. The result you can see below.

With Jali in 2012, With Jali in 2017.
He doesn’t seem to age. 




I had to saunter back to town as I kept getting calls from folks who wanted to see me. See, ehn, the thing is most of these cats I have never met. They heard I was in town and asked if they could come see me. Sounds strange though but off to town Clestan Hotel I went.


Strange thing again was peeps recognizing me and I couldn’t. It was embarrassing and I felt bad, then came the ‘can we take a picture together part’. That one sef felt odd but I had to oblige. 

After all the drama, it was finally time to unwind but before then I had to play catch up with the likes of Jessica Amadi, Precious Oham, Tobi Adepoju, Chris Oguogo, Ekine Moseph, Pointman Carl and a few others.

Let me cut to the chase. The evening ended with a party organised by a WhatsApp group I joined recently. It was mad fun. Kai, Naija journos can turn up sha. Adewale Ajayi is a confirmed mad-man. Jessica Amadi should have been a choreographer, Busayo Olowokere is.....,Tobi, Jane where fun too.

We had to force Phemmy Adetula to dance, Rotimi Akindele refused to come to the dance floor while AY Suga, well...was being AY Suga.

I won't post pictures of the party before someone uses it to blackmail me.

China Acheru was nowhere to but found. Maybe he was hunting for dog meat and palm-wine somewhere in town. 

Hopefully the Super Eagles will give us cause to celebrate again when they defeat the Bafana Bafana.

More stories later. Day One was okay...hopefully Day Two will be better.

Na gode

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Tribute to Stephen Keshi

It's a year today since we woke up to the sad news of former Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi's death. It was a big blow to everyone, not just those involved with football.

This blog post is a tribute to the legend that was affectionately known as the 'Big Boss'.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The guy? I was in awe of him EVERY time I was with him. Great is overused a term. He was a great man.

The only African coach to qualify two different African teams for the FIFA World Cup. The only African coach to qualify an African team for the 2nd round of the FIFA world cup. The only indigenous coach to win the AFCON for Nigeria, the first Nigerian captain to an AFCON final outside Nigeria.
“Legend” does not do Stephen Keshi justice. Neither does this tribute but I owed it to him to try and write one.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Paul Onuachu- 2016/17 Goals.

Paul Ebere Onuachu has  blossomed this season at Danish side FC Midtjylland after a break-out year last season when he scored aganst Manchester United in the Europa League.

I scouted him about 2 years ago for Samson Siasia before the Rio Olympic Games and despite getting an invite, club commitments meant he could not make it to camp.

The 6'6 striker (think of a younger Kanu Nwankwo) has surpassed my expectations with goals and the best part is he has improved technically. 

Here are his 23 goals for Midtjylland this season. Left leg, right leg but mostly headers (as you would expect) and errr...a bit of step overs too.

Herr Rohr or should I say Monsieur Rohr? Looking for a target man? (as a 'deputy' for Osimhen who clearly is Rohr's preferred man).

Maybe you should take a look at this.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

FC IFEANYI UBAH AND 7 OTHERS IN TO NEROS PHARMACEUTICALS ANAMBRA FA CUP QUARTER FINALS




The Neros Pharmaceuticals Anambra State FA cup enters quarter finals stage today (Thursday).
After a very competitive three knock out rounds of football actions, eight teams have reached the quarter finals and they are


 FC IfeanyiUbah, Nnewi.


Ozalla FC, Onitsha.


Morning Stars FC, Onitsha.
 
CKC FC, Onitsha.
 
All Stars FC, Ihiala.
 
Ogbaru United FC, Ogbaru.


FC IfeanyiUbah Feeders, Nnewi.
 
Global FC, Onitsha.

Defending Champions, FC IfeanyiUbah will take on Ozalla FC at the FCIU International Stadium in Nnewi.
Morning Stars is to play CKC FC at Neros Stadium in Nanka.


All Stars of Ihiala will keep a date with Ogbaru United at the Chuba Ikpeazu Stadium in Onitsha while FC IfeanyiUbah Feeders slugs it out with Global FC at the Rojenny Stadium in Oba near Onitsha.


This year's edition of the Neros Pharmaceuticals sponsorship of the Anambra State FA cup is the ten year anniversary sponsorship edition and has a lot of celebratory activities lined up during the grand finale7 at the Neros Stadium in Nanka.


The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Neros Pharmaceuticals, Chief Poly Emenike, MON, "I am happy the way and manner this year's tournament is going, over the year's we have been able to empower the youths through our sponsorship of this tournament and a lot of them have been taken off the streets"

Rivers Utd get tough CAF group stage test

Rivers United, Nigeria's sole representative in the 2017 CAF Confederations Cup have been handed a tough group that has FUS Rabat of Morocco, Club Africian of Tunisia and KCCA of Kampala.

Initially in the CAF Champions League, Rivers United dropped to the CAF Champions League after they were eliminated by Sudanese side El-Meriekh of Sudan.

Below is the graphic for of their group.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Plateau United aiming for NPFL title

At the start of the 2016/17 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season, no one would have predicted that Plateau United will be top of the table.
Top of the table with a game in hand to boot.
That has been the phenomenal rise of the Jos-based side and if they can keep the pace in the second half of the stanza, then a first NPFL title will be on the horizon.
United were not meant to be in this position, no one gave them a chance from the beginning and even after an impressive start to the season, many felt the team would not be able to sustain the momentum.
Then there was the Kennedy Boboye factor.
The former youth international is known for starting the league like a house on fire and then fizzling out. His experience last year with Abia Warriors come fresh to mind and a lot opined those antecedents will not change with his latest challenge at Plateau.
Boboye and his charges have managed to prove doubters wrong. Though the title is still 19 games away, the ‘Sai United’ have proven that they are in for the long haul.
The team led the table for 16 of the 19 matchdays and were only toppled albeit intermittently by Lagos side MFM, but they are now top of the table, two points clear of MFM with a game at hand.