Enyimba, Dolphins fight for survival as Glo Super Six enters day two
AFTER a breathless Match Day One in which we saw three victories, seven goals and one red card, the Glo Premier League Super-Six enters its Second Match Day with some mouth-watering clashes. For the opening day winners, it provides an opportunity to consolidate on a fine work while for the losers, it is a chance to bounce back and prove that they are aware of their forthcoming continental tasks. While the Glo Premier League Super-Six basically provides teams a platform to assess their game plan ahead of the season, no Coach would also want his side to be the whipping boys of the competition.
Last season’s tournament winner, Enyimba and the runners-up, Warri Wolves, will set the ball rolling. Both sides, who were on the losing side in their first games, will be keen to make amends this time. Judging from last season’s meetings in the League, Enyimba looks to have the edge having beaten Warri Wolves in Aba and forced them to a draw in Warri but this is a different competition and the varying fitness levels of the teams will be the determining factor.
From their performances in the first games, Warri Wolves looks the better side in terms of fitness and preparation for the tournament but neither Paul Aigbogun nor Kadiri Ikhana have had the amount of time they would have loved to have with their players prior to this competition nor have their new signings gotten used to their new teammates just yet. But both will welcome this duel knowing they have an opportunity to test their lads with Premier League opposition.
Without doubt, the star match of the Match Day between sides, Kano Pillars and the Flying Eagles, who glided effortlessly past their opponents in their first encounter.
The League Champions are on a mission to win the prestigious CAF Champions League and have been in camp almost all through the holiday period, their superior fitness levels bearing witness in how easily they dismantled Dolphins with less than a quarter played.
Now they face a side, who might be younger age wise but have garnered understanding among themselves from playing regularly. The ease with which they went behind the Enyimba defence time and again will be something Okey Emordi must have answers to as he readies his team to face some of the best club sides in the continent. And to fend off a first defeat, Emordi would have to work on the recovery rate of his midfield and backline.
For the Flying Eagles, the number of chances that went begging against Enyimba should constitute some worry for Manu Garba and even though they won comfortably, the Pillars back line may not be as generous as Enyimba was. Will the likes of Tunde Awoniyi and Usman Sule take their chances as they come? Who will steal the midfield show between Rabiu Ali and Abdullahi Alfa? Can Enahoro and his defenders successfully stop Gambo Mohammed and Christian Obiozor? We shall see.
The Under-23 National side play in the third game of the day again on Monday, but this time against last season’s Federations Cup finalists, Dolphins of Port Harcourt. They beat Warri Wolves in the first game in a far-from-convincing manner having taken the lead twice but held on bravely to nick all three points.
Dolphins on the other hand never really got going against Kano Pillars and gave away two first half goals in that first game. Losing a player like Emem Eduok will hurt any team and the pressure is on Stanley Eguma to show that he has capable replacements. The likes of Omo Johnson and Ifeanyi Egwim will need to prove to the coach that they can do a good enough job otherwise the club could be forced to delve into the market in search of strikers. Their chance begins with this game against the Dream Team V.