Friday, July 05, 2013

Dolphins keeper stars in The Predictor's XI

Definitely not many will agree with my choice of Dolphins goalkeeper, Austin Brown, in my team of the week for Matchday 20 of the Glo Nigeria Premier League after conceding twice at Bayelsa United.

But Brown was "a monster in fact, a big monster" between the sticks against Bayelsa United as Fisayo Dairo of Royal FM in Yenagoa aptly described the performance of the goalkeeper.

Bayelsa United should have scored at least five goals but for the brilliance of the former Heartland keeper.

Brown had to stop Uche Ihuarulam twice in a one-on-one situation and also blocked two goalmouth scramble when Bayelsa United fans were already up on their feet to jubilate goals that never were.

Even the curling free kick of Bayelsa United defender, Anthony Abawula was palmed away by the impressive Brown on the day.

But it took Peter Ebimobowei's feints, in fact three times of such movement, to beat Brown from the spot to leave the outcome of the tie at 2-2 inside the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa.

Another top performer in my book on the day is Enyimba centre-back, Abdulsemiu Liadi. I think he was one major reason Enyimba won 1-0 at Heartland.

Liadi is joined in my four-man defence by his teammate, Bright Esieme as well as ThankGod Ike and Odili Iyasele.

In the middle of the park, Isiaka Olawale and Olabiyi Rasheed will play as shields for the back four while the duo of Freedom Omofomah and Ubong Ekpai are my wide men.

Mfon Udoh and Ibrahim Shuaibu might not be big names in the Glo Premier League this season but the two strikers get my nod for their vision and conversion rate in front of goal in the Week 20 games.

Enyimba gaffer, Salisu Yusuf is my coach of the week for masterminding Heartland's fall in Owerri even without key men like captain Chinedu Udoji and last season's leading scorer, Sibi Gwar.

It is the second time, Yusuf is named as my coach of the week this season.

The Predictor's XI - Matchday 20

Austin Brown (Dolphins) - Bright Esieme (Enyimba), Abdulsemiu Liadi (Enyimba), ThankGod Ike (Warri Wolves), Odili Iyasele (Bayelsa United) - Isiaka Olawale (Dolphins), Olabiyi Rasheed (Enyimba), Freedom Omofomah (Warri Wolves), Ubong Ekpai (Akwa United) - Mfon Udoh (Akwa United), Ibrahim Shuaibu (Wikki Tourists)

Coach: Salisu Yusuf (Enyimba)

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