Willy Udube won his first ever game as head coach in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) when his Go Round side recorded a shock 1-0 win away to Abia Warriors in a Match Day 2 game in Umuahia.
Udube had worked as assistant coach over the years with top flight sides including Gabros, Rivers United and Wednesday’s opponents Abia Warriors but he started his career as a top flight coach on a high with a richly deserved victory with his less-fancied boys.
Go Round took the lead in the 37th minute after a brilliant solo run by Sodiq Ololade who kept his composure to finish beyond Uche Okafor. The hosts however equalised in the 70th minute when midfielder Emeka Isaac converted from the penalty spot after Ibrahim Olawoyin was fouled inside the box.
With the game heading for a stalemate, substitute Onyedikachi Ugwu scored in second minute of stoppage time, finishing after holding off the strong Abiodun Adebayo with virtually his first touch of the game.
“I’m very very glad to win my first NPFL match. It is going to be a morale booster for me. I’m going to put more things in order and work harder,” Udube told www.aclsports.com after the game
“It’s a blessing because I know quite alright that if you’re playing a team like Abia Warriors, you have to be very very careful because they have very good players. So we decided to truncate most of their movements. Not because we’re better but because we want to be tactically good. That’s what happened today,” added the former Jasper United star.
In the other games decided on Wednesday, FC Ifeanyiubah left it late to defeat Nasarawa United in Nnewi 1-0. Striker Chijioke Alaekwe scored the game’s only goal in stoppage time to continue Ifeanyiubah’s dream start to the season. In the same group, Heartland FC compounded the woes of 2017 champions Plateau United, smashing them 3-0 in Okigwe.
Second half goals by Efe Yarhere, Chibuzor Okonkwo and Chinonso Okonkwo gave Heartland the full marks over Abdu Maikaba’s side. The group’s other game scheduled for this midweek will be decided tomorrow between El-Kanemi Warriors and Kano Pillars in Maiduguri.
In Group A, Ossy Martins scored late to earn Rivers United a 1-1 draw at Niger Tornadoes. Ghanaian winger Eric Frimpong had given the hosts the lead in the 66th minute in Minna but former Ifeanyiubah star, Ossy levelled three minutes later with Stanley Eguma’s men holding on to the point.
In Group A’s other game, MFM FC spanked Kwara United 2-0 at the Agege Township Stadium. Striker Segun Alebiosu scored an own goal to give MFM the lead before Kabiru Adeniji made the game safe fourteen minutes from time.
The next round of matches which will see newly promoted NNL teams feature for the first time will be staged on Sunday.
Niger Tornadoes 1-1 Rivers United
MFM FC 2-0 Kwara United
Abia Warriors 1-2 Go Round
El-Kanemi Warriors vs Kano Pillars (Thursday)
FC Ifeanyiubah 1-0 Nasarawa United
Heartland 3-0 Plateau United