By Mazi Jaka
A chilly night for those at Enyimba Stadium Aba. We can’t remember when we watched Enyimba this late if there was any time. There are lots of positives to take from this game. First, the floodlights working perfectly proved many doubters wrong, the stadium can host a match anytime of the day. LMC should consider night games, the atmosphere is romantic at night and hopefully we might see 8pm games soon. At the stadium we felt a different vibe watching the game that late. The club must understand it is dearly loved by millions of Nigerians and last night the Elephants made so many Nigerians happy. Present events in the country are disheartening and like before, this win shows we are all humans after all. A good game of football unites.
Orlando Pirates strategy was to sit back and soak in pressure but the boys in blue were a mouthful. The South Africans continued to receive waves of attack. Battered left and right it was only a matter of time before the ball found the back of the net. A few fans at the stadium cheered from the stands yet their encouragement and shouts inspired heroic push from the players. Enyimba left it late as Anyao’s run and low cross found Olisema who made no mistake in firing into the net.
Fatai Osho started what we might call an ideal frontline. Orok and Anayo on both sides of the wing is a combination we always advocated for. Both players gave their heart on the pitch in the first half. At the midfield was Farouk who made the absence of Oladipo less felt. Fatai showed the team can hold the ball and slowly work their way forward. In fact the playing style was exactly what we’ve been calling for, hold the ball and work the spaces. Kudos to Fatai for making the right substitutions, Tosin was all over the place upfront and would have bagged an assist but Anayo headed his cross narrowly wide. This seems to be the best game the Elephants played this season, a lot of purpose and determination came to bear last night.
Olisema is an engine room if we play the passing game. He hardly lobs the ball forward without reasonable intent and last night made the midfield fun to watch. What best time to score for the midfield maestro than in this match of high magnitude. Watching Olisema celebrate tells his passion, certainly the goal is a confidence builder going forward. If we can play this type of possession game with lots of intent, getting something out of the CAF Confederation and NPFL will be sure .
Fatai went on his knees in prayer, the win lifted the burden on his shoulders. He is a good coach but needs to believe in himself and his squad when playing away. We hope the team maintains this energy and style of play when the league resumes. We know him as a position styled coach and he proved to us he still got it.
Now we shift attention to the league!! Enyimba Enyi!!