Irresistable Sharks devour Stella
Nigeria Premier League side, Sharks FC of Port Harcourt produced a master class of ruthless attacking football as they pummeled Stella d’Ajame FC of Abidjan 5-0 in a first leg, third round tie at the ongoing 2010 WAFU Club Championships.
The game which was decided at the Sharks FC Stadium on Sunday began on a lackluster note with both sides struggling to cope with the slippery conditions following the heavy downpour witnessed just moments before kickoff.
However, it was the home side that settled in quicker with junior international, Terry Envoh worrying the visitor’s backline with some darting runs from the right.
It wasn’t until the 6th minute that the first shot on goal was produced and it came through an unlikely source in the form of the Sharks captain, Odinga Odinga, following an an uncharacteristic overlapping run from the left back position.
His tame shot was however easily saved by Zion Guma Nesson in goal for the visitors.
The tempo of the game dropped drastically as both sides employed the safety first tactics.
On thirty eight minutes, the deadlock was broken by Sharks; Victor Ezeji firing home from close range to send the home supporters into raptures.
On the stroke of halftime, it was two nil to the Blue Angels as Thankgod Amaefule expertly dispatched from the spot after Bright Ejike was fouled in the penalty area.
In the second half, Sharks put up arguably their best ever performance this season as they scored three more times to add gloss to the score line.
Seven minutes after the restart, winger Gomo Unduku picked up a loose ball 35 yards away from goal. With little danger lurking and with his back to goal, he made a sixty degree turn, waltzed towards the penalty area, turned his marker inside out before hammering an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner.
The stadium was shaking with emotion as the fans went mad.
They were not done yet and the 4th goal was to arrive barely a hundred and twenty seconds later.
Stella F.C. knew that they needed a goal at this point to hurl themselves back into the contest and swiftly adopted the gong ho tactics but they were caught on the break as a sweeping counter attacking move was finished off by the impressive Ezeji, his second of the night on 54 minutes.
Sharks then took their foot off the gas and were content to show boat, knowing the tie had already been put to bed, as long as they did not concede.
The best action of the match was yet to come though and it arrived with just two minutes left on the clock.
In an exhilarating move, full of guile, technique, one touch football and involving six of the Sharks players, the home side scored arguably the goal of the competition; a special team goal, finished off by Kola Anubi, that even the visiting fans were forced to applaud.
“It was a special performance” two goal hero, Victor Ezeji told SuperSport.com shortly after the final whistle.
“Hopefully, we will build on this and have a stroll in the second leg in Abidjan, in a forthnight.” he concluded.
Mani Usman for Godwin Mbah (67mins)
Ebitimi Agogo for Gomo Unduku (75mins)
Paschal Ejike for Victor Ezeji ( 78mins)
Subs not Used: Henry Vincent, Fortune Chukwudi, Gift Ibibo, Tammy Tams.
TEAM (Stella FC)
Zion Guma Nesson
Yabre Raphael for Ngoram Martial (60 mins)
Diomande Aboubaka for Kaba Mohammed (65 mins)
Karamoke Bouake for Adom Charlot (75 mins)
38 mins; Victor Ezeji
45 mins; Thankgod Amaefule (pen)
52 mins; Gomo Unduku
54 mins; Victor Ezeji
88 mins; Kola Anubi
Sharks: Mamaya Yusuf (41 mins)
Stella: Ngoram Martial (36 mins), Gnago Gustave (45 +1 mins), Kone Ismael (45 +3), Gnabounou Marius (86 mins)