Our hopes of relegation survival became slimmer after the White Lions were held to a draw at home by Prime FC in a pulsating encounter which produced six goals at the end of regulation time.
Coach Alabi’s men deserved to put the game beyond reach as early as the 15th minute but due to profligacy could only manage to go into the break with a one nil lead, courtesy of a sublime effort from Ogunsuyi. The visitors found their feet with the start of the second half and got an early equaliser through substitute, Damola Fakayode. We got back in the lead once more via some tenacious play by Omoyele. However, the visitors got two goals in quick succession to get their noses in front and even though Ogunsuyi got us back in the game with a stoppage-time effort, Prime were able to hang on as they ran out of the Teslim Balogun Stadium with a point.
With the league having been on suspension in the last one month, Coach Kazeem Alabi was spoilt for choice in picking his starting line-up, however, he stayed consistent with the same line-up as of his last three matches with only Akpota Kevwe who was given his debut start the notable inclusion. Ezeali Kingsley was moved into central defence in place of Alaba Balogun who suffered a minor illness during the week and could only make the bench.
We raced out of the blocks in the early stages and a bright start should have been rewarded with as many as three goals but for some wastefulness in front of goal. We pressed high up the field and Omoyele stole the ball from the last defender but his attempt to unselfishly tee up Omaka was heavy as it skidded out of touch. Both players also combined once again with the earlier forcing a big save from the Prime keeper after being played through on goal. And then, it was time for Omaka to miss as he could not direct his header on target from point-blank range following a sweet cross from Enuademu.
With the amount of opportunities that came our way, we eventually got the opener and how special was it! Ogunsuyi rifled one into the top corner after some telepathic exchange of passes with Omaka.
Prime responded with a few pot shots from distance, none of which caused Paul Emenike any concern and the home side continued to threaten with some quick passing in search of a second but were unable to get past the opponent’s goalie as we headed into the dressing room with a slim lead.
The second half took a different turn as out of nothing, the visitors drew level just five minutes into resumption. A swift counterattacking play had us scrambling backwards to defend but Fakayode was quickest as he guided in a low cross from the right. Their bright start to the second half continued and they almost scored a second on the break but their curling effort was way over.
The boss had apparently had enough and made his first substitution, bringing on Waliu Makinde in place of Omaka and the attacker was involved in the build up to our second goal with the assist. Omoyele shot us into the lead after being played in by Makinde although at the expense of a strong challenge from the out-rushing keeper as he was substituted consequently.
Just as we looked to close out the game, we were made to rue some of our missed chances as the visitors scored twice in quick succession. Some panicky defending allowed Adebayo to even the score-line with a left-foot volley and just before we could respond, Adeyeye made it 3-2 from a set-piece situation.
Atagana was introduced late on and his flick-on for Ogunsuyi’s goal ensured the last few minutes of stoppage time was one to fight for. We almost snatched the winner in the dying seconds but Oronsaye’s curling free-kick on the edge of the box ricocheted agonisingly off the cross bar.
That was the last kick of the game and the White Lions had forfeited two valuable points in their quest for survival. We will have to hope for good fortune from other affecting results of the group with our fate no longer in our hands. We next face Remo Stars at home in the coming weekend.
C.O.D United XI: Paul Emenike, James Oronsaye, Kenneth Joseph, Ezeali Kingsley, Obinna Adiukwu, Akpota Kevwe, Nnamdi Damian, Anthony Omaka, Odunayo Ogunsuyi, Chinedu Enuademu, Tosin Omoyele.
Subs: Ridwan Oladipupo, Alaba Balogun, Afeez Bankole, Oladimeji Obafemi, Makinde Waliu, Soji Adu, Theophilus Atagana.
Prime XI: Ayo Ojo, Sule Ahmed, Soji Olaojoyetan, Alaji Rasaq, Akilapa Olusola, Tunde Olawale, Adebayo Kehinde, Adeyeye Adeyemi, Abdusalam Azeez, Olalere Akeem, Lekan Bola.
Subs: Moruf Olasupo, Olapade Waheed, Damola Fakayode, Tuoneke Maxwel, Oyewo Wale, Olaiya Azeez, Victor Okeji.