Prime FC scored a goal in each half to hand C.O.D United a second away Nigeria National League (NNL) defeat of the season. We needed to get a good result away to Prime in Osogbo to help renew hopes of promotion to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), and there was little to separate both sides until Joseph Kenneth was shown a straight red card for a clumsy tackle and Olabisi Olagunju’s header from the preceding freekick put Prime ahead.
Adeyeye Adeyemi doubled the lead with just ten minutes into the second half making it a higher mountain to climb but the White Lions fought hard without finding a way past the opponent’s goalkeeper as we left the Osogbo Township stadium without a point.
Coach Okey Emordi made two changes to the team which started the previous match against Delta Force as Oronsaye and Ugwunna were restored to the lineup to add further quality to the midfield. Indeed we created good chances of our own even though Prime had the first two efforts of the game with two set-pieces that went off the target. Our opening attempt came in the 10th minute when we strung good forward passes in the opponent’s box only for Ugwunna’s grounder which seemed headed for the target to be deflected wide by a good block.
Ezeali attempted an ambitious volley from a cut back from Ndukwe but the midfielder was unable to catch the ball cleanly as his shot drifted over. We came close to breaking the deadlock minutes later as Ezeali wriggled his way into the box and teed up Ndukwe but the striker’s shot was inches wide of the post. We continued to press on for the first goal as we broke on the counter via some intelligent play by Stone but the midfielder’s touch was heavy and out of control giving the defenders a chance to clear. However, we were dealt a huge blow was Joseph Kenneth was given the marching orders by the referee for a seemingly poor tackle close to the throwing line. Olagunju ran past his marker in the box to glance the resulting kick into the net.
The White Lions knew a big 45 minutes was awaiting them, but their task was made even tougher just ten minutes into the second half when Prime doubled the lead. A good square ball into our box was guided in by Adeyemi for the host’s second goal.
We fought hard for a comeback as Stone saw his beautifully curled freekick sail narrowly over after Ndukwe had been brought down close to the box. Adu also forced the Prime goalie into a save with a lowly drilled, left-footed shot.
Ivonye was brought in as an extra attacker upfront but despite our unrelenting pressure in midfield and around the Prime box, the hosts hung on to the win. The White Lions are back in action next Saturday away to Remo Stars.
Prime XI: Ayo Ojo, Olabisi Olagunju, Ikenwa Ibezim, Alaji Rasaq, Olushola Akilapa, Sileola Hammed, Lekan Oseolohun, Leigh Olufolahan, Adeyemi Adeyemi, Hakeem Olalere, Damola Fakayode.
Subs: Jatto Chukwudi, Waheed Olapade, Victor Okeji, Maxwell Moneke, Bola Lekan, Kehinde Adebayo, Tosin Olabode.
C.O.D United XI: Onuoha Joseph, Bankole Hafeez, Adikwu Obinna, Ezeali kingsley, Williams Jide, Joseph Kenneth, Evbuomwan Stone, Ndukwe Uche, Oronsaye James, Ugwunna Obinna, Adu Oluwasoji.
Subs: Oladipo Kolawole, Adewuyi Abiodun, Hammed Sikiru, Omaka Anthony, Musa Rapheal, Nwoye Anthony, Ivonye Neche.