Monday, December 21, 2009

Arugo Monkey Thwarts Wolves’ Invincibility

Enyimba’s goalkeeper, Chijioke Ejiogu, was the man that stood between Warri Wolves and its quest remain Premier League leader into the Christmas break through his heroic display.
In last weekend’s top-of-the-table clash between the Peoples Elephant and Wolves at the Oleh Township Stadium in Isoko, Delta State, Ejiogu also known as Arugo Monkey posted a five-star performance to ensure that his club grabbed the maximum points.
In a game that was largely dominated by the home side, Warri Wolves, the 25-year-old shot-stopper relived performances of his days at Arugo Football Club in the late 1990s when the side took the FA Cup by storm then.
Spotting jersey number 40 in goal for the Peoples Elephant last Sunday inside the Oleh Township Stadium, Ejiogu was the man that Enyimba had to thank at the end of the encounter.
Though the first half of the encounter witnessed half chances from both clubs in a star-studded game, Warri Wolves’ highest top scorer from last season, Ehiosun Ekigho, put the former Julius Berger goalie under test and he was up to the task.
Although Enyimba at some point tested the backline of Warri Wolves, it was the home side that had the upperhand in the second half of the encounter that produced a classic game for the top-of-the-table clash.
In the second half Ejiogu, who got the nickname of Arugo Monkey during his days at amateur side, Arugo FC, foiled attempts from Eddy Ogude and Michael Okoyoh.
At a stage in the second half, Okoyoh’s curling drive was heading for goal and Ejiogu out of the blues kept it out of goal to the applause of fans watching inside the Oleh Township Stadium.
But it was Cletus Itodo, who punished Warri Wolves in the 89th minute, when he finished off a superb counter-attack move by the Peoples Elephant to send the home crowd at the Oleh Township Stadium quiet.
The midfielder netted Enyimba’s winner after quick exchanges of the ball between Josiah Maduabuchi and Osas Idehen.
General Manager, Media of the club, Timi Ebikagboro, who spoke to, could not hide his admiration for Ejiogu’s performance and wondered why none of the national team coaches were on hand to watch one of this season’s biggest league games in the country.
Centre referee of the game, Barnabas Shamang from Kaduna State, was also commended by the home side for his display of professionalism throughout the encounter.
Wolves’ head coach, Lawrence Akpokona, was visibly unhappy with the result but acknowledged the performance of Ejiogu.
“He was really massive for them and I am sure if not for him, it may have been a different game. But we have learnt yet again that we need to always put our eyes on the ball until the final whistle is blown,” he told
This is the first time that Warri Wolves would surrender all points in a home game after it went without a loss at home last season.
The club’s 24-match run at home without a loss in the top-flight was brought to an end with Sunday’s defeat to Enyimba. 

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