Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Aba Elephant Closes In On Sixth Title

Enyimba of Aba is edging close to wrapping up the title before the last game of the season after opening a four-gap on closest rival, Kano Pillars, at the weekend after securing a one-nil victory over Enugu Rangers.
It was a battle between two pit bulls in the Premier League and the encounter was full of fireworks.
Though the first half of the encounter ended goalless, it was a game that lived up to its billing with the Flying Antelopes stretching the five-time Premier League winner.
In the second half with less than a quarter to the end of the tie, new Ghanaian signing for Enugu Rangers, Charles Taylor, thought he had handed his side the lead when he netted a close range effort only for the match officials to rule it out for offside to the disenchantment of the travelling contingent of Rangers and its bench.
But eight minutes to the end of the encounter, Osas Idehen, who has had a quiet time since scoring 10 goals in the season bundled home the winner though the Flying Antelopes would feel hard done by the fact that the goal looked to have been scored from an offside position.
Rangers’ head coach, Alphonsus Dike, did not want to be drawn into whether the goal should have stood or not, rather he feels his side had the chance of punishing the league leader but left the Aba side off the hook.
“We had this game in our hands. But we did not do justice to it. We wasted lots of scoring opportunities in this game (against Enyimba) and I think we have ourselves to blame for losing this game though I think our goal was good enough to have been counted. But it was not and there’s nothing we can do now,” he told Naijaligue.blogspot.com.
Dike is already putting the defeat aside and hopes that the next game at home against Sharks Football Club would end in a victory, as the Coal City side targets a continental berth.
“Our focus will now be our next game because we cannot continue to dwell on having lost in Aba. We need to move on and make sure we pick points in our remaining games to finish as high as possible at the end of the season,” Dike said apparently with his sight set on one of the tickets for one of Africa's club competitions.
Coach of Aba Elephant, Okey Emordi, has said it is not over yet for his side, as he still believes that the season is far from over.
In a chat with www.npl.com.ng after his team earned a victory over Rangers, Emordi said it was good his side got all points at stake but stressed that much still needs to be done for his side to be crowned league champion again.
"It was really a very tough match. I expected a tough game from Rangers going by the fact that both teams are house-hold teams in this zone.
"It was a difficult game and Rangers put up a very strong opposition which really panicked everybody at the stadium and this I can attribute to the loss of five of my first team players to injuries and card suspensions,” stated the former CAF Coach Of The Year award winner.
"As far as I am concerned, four points are not enough because anything can still happen. All we need now is to go and get a win or at worst a draw in one of our away games and that will make or last game against Kano Pillars a mere formality.
"When we are crowned champions, it will be all glory to God for crowning our efforts this season and make me one of the happiest man on earth."
Enyimba has won the league title in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007 seasons.

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