BY JUDE OSSAI / ENUGU
Arguably, the most telling sequence in the on-going Save Enugu State Now Movement (S-E-S-N-M) 2022/2023 soccer tournament was witnessed last Saturday, October 8 at Sansiro, Onoli, stadium, Awgu when Nkanu West Local Government team locked horns with Nsukka Local Government squad.
The exciting classic football tournament which entered week 4 stage is single-handedly powered by the 2023 African Democratic Congress (ADC) Gubernatorial Candidate, His Excellency, Pastor Donatus Obi Ozoemena.
The match began in a clement weather at 3.20pm with Nsukka players starting the game very brightly, dominating possession and creating an early chance when Shaggy brought a looping ball down in the box and tried to place the ball in the net, but his shot met a brick wall.
Few minutes later in the play, Shaggy was again on song at the heart of Nkanu-West 18 yard box as he latched on the ball but was saved by the Nkanu West goalkeeper.
Then in the 45th minute of the play, Pen Ortega of Nsukka Local Government broke the deadlock with a superlative goal via a spot kick after few minutes of altercation between the Nkanu West team and the Centre referee over a foul by the Nkanu West defender who brought Nsukka striker down in 18 yard box during play.
The Centre referee did not hesitate to award a penalty to Nsukka which Nkanu West players vehemently opposed and even wanted to abandon the match until the intervention by the Match Official and Supreme Coordinator of S-E-S-N-M, Rt. Hon. Okafor Onyeka Cybdian.
A red card was issued to Nkanu West player for pushing the Centre referee in the pitch over what he (player) considered as poor officiating. Nkanu West players battled their opponents with 10 men for the rest of the game.
The first half ended 1-0 in favour of Nsukka Local Government team.
The second half was a different ball game as balance of power was evidenced with players of both teams contesting for every ball.
Both sides threatened to score straight after the break but were effectively checked by defenders.
However, a brilliant solo run saw Nsukka lads doubling their lead through Shaggy with a beautiful, whipped ball from his team mate.
The second stanza was characterized by counter attacks and rough play by both sides. Goalkeepers of the two teams especially that of Nkanu-West were extraordinary in their brilliant saves which intermittently drew spontaneous ovation from the fans who came in their large numbers.
Shaggy inflicted more pain to Nkanu West team when he broke their water tight defence to put the ball behind the goal keeper in 72nd minute of play.
Shaggy rose again in 80th minute of play when he beat Nkanu West goalkeeper, Iker Casilas napping with a hat-trick third goal to consolidate their victory.
The score line at end of the 90 minutes game read: Nsukka LG 3, Nkanu-West 0
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the game, Rt. Hon. Okafor Onyeka Cybdian, Personal Assistant to the ADC Gubernatorial Candidate, His Excellency Pastor Donatus Ozoemena, said, “His Excellency Pastor Obi is determine to put hope to abandoned youths of Enugu State, pointing out that “a good leader reduces crime to zero level while bad leaders fight crime which triggered off criminality”.
His words: “A nation is not only destroyed by atomic bombs, a
wrong political decision can sabotage, stagnant and retrogress a nation which in other words can be tagged political bombing.
“Arguably, Enugu state is in this appalling and despicable condition because of our political actions and inactions . It is time to wake the sleeping dog, time for us to rise and rescue our blessed state, time for us to posses our possession.
“His Excellency, Pastor Obi Ozomena has made himself a spearhead and we are the handle. He can only go the distance that we throw him, for the sake of humanity let’s do the best we can to make sure we throw him far”.