Four goals were scored in the first game of Match-day 2 of the Bet9ja Nigeria Nationwide League One Super 8 Tournament as My People FC of Lagos came from a goal down to defeat Bida Lions 3-1 in a thrilling encounter that left the capacity crowd at the Agege Township stadium cheering for more.
Having lost their first game of the tournament 2-1 to Papilo FC of Owerri on Tuesday, Bida Lions stepped into the field with great determination to defeat their opponents in order to bounce back to reckoning in the tournament.
Their determination paid off with a goal from a sublime finish by Alhaji Bello in the 12th minute. The goal woke up My People FC from their slumber as they began to spray passes with great fluidity in their play in search of an equaliser, but the Lions were able to resist the forays of attacks initiated by the attacking trio of Leonard Okeke, Yakubu Azeez and Chigozie Chukwu, while Mordi Michael in goal for Bida Lions stood firm.
The equaliser eventually came for My People FC when Azeez was tripped inside the box by Usman Usman which led to a penalty. Okeke, the captain of My People FC calmly slotted home on the dot of 45th minute to end the first on equal note. The youthful My People FC team began the second half like a house on fire as they intensified pressure on Bida Lions who were beginning to show fatigue as the game progressed, and they crumbled under pressure when they conceeded another penalty in the 60th minute, which was converted also by Okeke.
In a frantic effort to redeem his team from another pending defeat, Adamu Gambo, the chief coach of Bida Lions brought in Ajibola Wasiu in place of Mohammed Musa, but it was My People FC that had the last laugh when Chigozie Chukwu scored in the 88th minute from a counter attack initiated by Okeke from the left side of the midfield.
At the end, Gambo said that it was another defeat too painful to swallow, as his players ought to have earned a draw in the game. “It was another sad defeat and as you can see my player gave their all in the game, but unfortunately we had two penalties against us and this changed everything in the game against us.”
Tiamiyu Yusuf, the Chief Coach of My People FC said that his players displayed great mental strength to come behind from a goal down to win the game 3-1. “I am happy that my team won this game. It was a very difficult game to win after conceeding a goal early in the game. I give kudos to the players and my captain did well to to motivate the players with the goals he scored from the penalty spot.”
In another game, FRSC of Abuja and AS Racine of Lagos settled for 1-1 draw.
AS Racine, tutored by former Super Eagles’ forward Victor Agali, took an early lead in the 10th minute through Gbadegesin Nurudeen, but the lead only lasted for 10 minutes as Ayawere Oamen equalised for the ‘Road Marshalls’ from Abuja in the 20th minute.
Contrary to what the fans were expecting, the two early goals in the first half was all they would witness in the game as the second half only recorded anxious moments for both teams.
Agali described the opposition as a fighting team, blessed with physically fit players who could run all day. He said his team is made up of ball playing players, who love to knock the ball around but were confronted by the physical nature of the FRSC players which impeded their play.
“We played against a good team. A fighting team and they can run all day fighting for the ball. My players did their best. We played our normal free flowing game, but they had their game plan and they fought to avoid a defeat.”