Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Sharks’ title charge still on track

By Sammy Wejinya

Sharks manager, Gbenga Ogunbote was pained at his side’s 0-1 loss to FC Taraba on match day 17 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Fidelis Saviour plundered a stoppage time winner from the penalty spot and Ogunbote said he was unhappy in the manner in which the hosts claimed maximum points in Jalingo on Sunday.

The Sharks gaffer said the goal was scored in the 96th minute which he said left a bitter taste in the mouth.

“It was unfortunate and very painful especially when one considers that the goal was conceded in the sixth minute of second half added time,” Ogunbote told Supersport.com.

Sharks’ loss on Sunday in Jalingo represented the club’s first reverse in 11 fixtures but Ogunbote insists his charges will not let their heads drop.

“The unbeaten run is over but we cannot allow it to unsettle us. We have to start all over again and try to achieve our set goals.

“We are still top of the table and we will strive to win our next game. The most important thing is to remain at the top of the table at the end of the season,” he said.

The Sharks’ next fixture is on 4 June when they face resurgent champions, Kano Pillars in the stand out fixture of match day 18.

Club captain, Odinga Odinga is eager to inspire the side's return to winning ways again.

“Our loss to Taraba is painful especially as we did not deserve to lose. The penalty we conceded was very controversial and it was already six minutes into injury time.

“We can’t dwell on that game. We must now focus on our next game against Kano Pillars.

“Kano is a very difficult place to get a result but we know what we have to do. We cannot lose. That is not an option,” he said.

Meanwhile, FC Taraba coach, Ndubuisi Nduka said it was “laughable” that Sharks could complain about the loss “when they were well beaten in Jalingo."

“It is really laughable that Sharks are raising any kind of complaints about the game when they well beaten in Jalingo.

“That game was recorded. I challenge anyone with doubts about the spot kick awarded by the referee to watch the tape and judge if the penalty was deserved or not.

“That was the first penalty awarded to us in that stadium this season. Sharks adopted all manner of delay tactics.

“Their goalkeeper (Danladi Isah) was always going down and spent no less than 15 minutes all game on the turf feigning injury.

“It was the same with the other Sharks players who were more concerned with falling down rather than playing football.

“Of course, the referee had no choice but to include that in the time allocated for injuries.

“Sharks played well but we were much better and if it wasn’t for the saves of their goalkeeper, we could have scored as many as five goals,” he said.

FC Taraba will face Dolphins in Port Harcourt on match day 18 of the NPFL.

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