As a Nigerian, I was “lucky” enough to see the game between Akwa United and Kano Pillars. I use the word lucky because it was the only game of the Matchday to be shown live on Sunday (I missed it though) and it was the only game that was being reshown when I eventually had time for T.V on Monday. I should also add that I was lucky to be amongst the few that saw the game as Nigerians aren’t that into our own football league… at least NOT THAT INTO IT as they are with the “others”. After seeing the game, these are what I saw:
Akwa United Were The Better Team
Kano Pillars were the visitors, Akwa United were the guys who had the home crowd behind them and it was a one-sided affair. No, NPFL games are not usually one-sided but in this one it was Akwa United from start to finish. They were the stronger side. They bullied the Kano Pillars boys off the ball at random and at will. They were faster. They seemed to have players everywhere on the pitch. They were the hungrier side and their 19th-minute goal tells the whole story. Did I mention that they won the game?
Kano Pillars Played Tactlessly
No offence to their gaffer Okey Emordi (I hope this spelling is right though) but with the way the reigning champs of our darling NPFL played, a novice would have seen it a hard pill to swallow if while watching the game was told that Pillars are the current champions of the league. They struggled to keep up with their opponents’ pace. Barely survived whenever they got into Akwa United’s half thereby giving their opponent’s goalie virtually nothing to do. Defended massively but attacked non-chalantly and were generally disconnected (especially their passes). Maybe it was because they were playing away. Maybe not. But if this is bad news for Kano Pillars, isn’t this good news for the NPFL? That the league is now so competitive? Competitive enough to make the reigning champs look and play like chumps once in a while?
Akwa United Forwards Can Ball-Hug For Africa!
One name keeps coming to mind here: Udoh, Akwa’s forward player. Pardon me but I don’t exactly know his full name. This was the first time I was seeing Akwa United in action but this guy was a stand-out when it comes to selfish-play. He was so much all about himself alone whenever he was in front of goal that he made his fellow forward players feel isolated and they returned the favour whenever they had the ball too! How did they win? What if I tell you Enyimba really played that terribly?
There Was A Female Centre Referee and Her Officiating Wasn’t Good Enough
Seeing a female official amidst a bunch of guys is a really beautiful sight. But when her officiating is poor, then you begin to rethink women being officials when the guys are playing. You want a summary? She stopped play whenever play was supposed to go on and did the opposite when an actual foul was commited. Maybe I’m wrong. I mean she’s the one with a refeering badge and I’m just a football lover that’s watching the game right?
P.S: If you watched the game, please share your views in the comments section below. Would be beautiful to discuss Naija made football with other people. If you didn’t, pick any Sunday of your choice (the games are always played on Sundays I don’t know why) and either stroll into any stadium close to you (be sure if it will be hosting any game first o) or watch on satellite TV if you love your privacy. Feel free to thank me later 😉
You can connect with me on twitter @Rotdav and talk football!
Image credit: Sportive23
Author: Rotimi “Papi the Great” Daramola
Rotimi Daramola aka Papi the Great is the owner of ForTheGoal.
A freelance sports writer who focuses on football, Rotimi is also a freelance writer, a copywriter and a football analyst who regularly appears on radio and television to talk football. You can follow him on twitter @papi_thegreat to keep up with his writings, engage him and also find out about how you can secure his writing services.