• Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

Goji, Diamond Shine As Edo SWAN Beat Benin Airport FC

Ayoola Adeleke

Two second-half goals from Goji Sunday and Joseph “Endless” Ugiagbe gave meaningful colours to Edo SWAN’s scintillating performance as they compounded the woes of Benin Airport FC with a 2-1 Saturday morning.The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Edo Chapter despite fielding an injury-infected team held their own with a commanding display on the home ground of their hosts, stating that beyond talking on the mic and putting with the pen, they are masters of what they preach, to put two made in heaven goals together to register their superiority over their admirers.

The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Edo Chapter despite fielding an injury-infected team held their own with a commanding display on the home ground of their hosts, stating that beyond talking on the mic and putting with the pen, they are masters of what they preach, to put two made in heaven goals together to register their superiority over their admirers.

Captain of the side, Saliu Ibrahim led his determined teammates to a commanding first-half display over their compact opponents to the cheers of the home supporters after they displayed football artistry — thanks to the tactical set-up by Harrison Omorodion and David Alabi who stood in the gap for the absent Joseph Isokpehi.The team marched their hosts for the first forty-five minutes, initiating fantastic attacks against their opponent, while the backline had little pressure thanks to the man of the match — Blessed Diamond — who put up a 9.9 per cent rating display in the game.

The team marched their hosts for the first forty-five minutes, initiating fantastic attacks against their opponent, while the backline had little pressure thanks to the man of the match — Blessed Diamond — who put up a 9.9 per cent rating display in the game.

The first half ended with the Pen Pushers ruing their missed chances. The second half resumed with two changes for the sports writers seeing the introduction of Moses Idahosa and Harrison Omorodion who performed a coach-player role in the match.The substitutions and formation tweaking of David Alabi who took charge of the coaching boat, paid off in the 55th minute of the game. Samuel Kolawole found a free Sunday Goji on the edge of box 18 after a fine link-up play by Randy Micha through the opponents’ midfield.

The substitutions and formation tweaking of David Alabi who took charge of the coaching boat, paid off in the 55th minute of the game. Samuel Kolawole found a free Sunday Goji on the edge of box 18 after a fine link-up play by Randy Micha through the opponents’ midfield.

Sunday Goji wasted no time as he slammed the ball to the top corner of the opponent’s goal, leaving their goalkeeper motionless.The Press grew in confidence, pegging back their hosts with promising attacks, but poor conversion at the final third continued to be their ill luck.

The Press grew in confidence, pegging back their hosts with promising attacks, but poor conversion at the final third continued to be their ill luck.

Just as when the confidence grew stronger, the host broke the back of their visitors. Solomon Agbonika benefited from what was adjudged an offside play to level for the Aviation boys in the 78th minute of the game.The goal threw the entire football pitch into wild jubilation. The team thought their 12-game losing streak was going to end.

The goal threw the entire football pitch into wild jubilation. The team thought their 12-game losing streak was going to end.

Stand-in coach, David Alabi however took a big risk to rescue victory.

He sent in injured Stephen Odinaka and half-fit Chika Ugbechie with just 10 minutes left.The substitutions paid off as the team collectively got the second goal. Moses Idahosa initiated the attack after picking up a ball in the midfield.

The substitutions paid off as the team collectively got the second goal. Moses Idahosa initiated the attack after picking up a ball in the midfield.

His pass found Sunday Goji on the far right and the right back laid it well for Joseph Ugiagbe who hit a low shot beyond the stretched arm of the goalkeeper in the 90th minute.With 3 minutes of additional time by the centre referee, SWAN held their ground, thanks to goalkeeper, Precious Okueze who put up three saves in quick succession.

With 3 minutes of additional time by the centre referee, SWAN held their ground, thanks to goalkeeper, Precious Okueze who put up three saves in quick succession.

Speaking after the match, SWAN captain, Saliu Ibrahim commended the team for their show despite having trained only once in the last six months.

“I’m super impressed at the way SWAN played. Honestly, I didn’t expect we were going to play this way because our opponents train regularly.”

“We took the lead and they got their equalizer controversially, but we didn’t relent and we got the winner, I’m really happy. If we can play this well without training, just imagine what we can achieve if we train regularly.

“Some players were not present, some were injured and some were not available, which shows the strength in depth of Edo SWAN. And for those who were for one reason or the other weren’t able to play today, their position is in jeopardy if they don’t step up.”

According to the team’s Assistant Coach, Harrison Omorodion, the formation the chief coach gave played out well to secure the victory. “I stood in for the coach and he gave me the formation which we used. It paid off in the first half and we built on it in the second half to secure us the win.”Meanwhile, the coach of Benin Airport FC, Colinton Edah, though disappointed, is looking forward to changing the fortune of the team for good despite talks of his sack making rounds in the team’s camp.

Meanwhile, the coach of Benin Airport FC, Colinton Edah, though disappointed, is looking forward to changing the fortune of the team for good despite talks of his sack making rounds in the team’s camp.

“You play and win or lose, this is our first time playing SWAN and we will learn from this defeat going forward.””This is our first match outside the Airport, but in our next match, we will do better than this.”

“This is our first match outside the Airport, but in our next match, we will do better than this.”

Odah however commended SWAN for their fantastic display “I was expecting a high speed playing team, but I must say, they are okay.”

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