This Day (Lagos)

8 November 2012

Nigeria: Eagles, Football College in Six-Goal Thriller

The Super Eagles played its first test match since returning to camp after CAN 2013 qualification on Thursday at the training pitch of the National Stadium in Abuja and at the end of the day, Head Coach Stephen Keshi, simply said the team is still work in progress after they were forced to a 3-3 draw by amateur side, Abuja Football College.

The game started at about 7:20 am, and the national team which started with the home-based first XI but for skipper, Chigozie Agbim, quickly went into business dominating play and restricting the Ahmed Ahmed-tutored side to their side of the pitch.

Dan Akpeyi, who was in goal for the Super Eagles was hardly called into action before the national team opened its account in the fifth minute.

Impressive right back Kwambe Solomon, who shone like a million stars in the encounter, floated a freekick that was neatly converted by Sunday Mba. The Eagles continued their dominance of the game but were unable to increase the tally until the 35th minute when Francis Benjamin's long ranger from about 40 yards rolled into the net of the sprawling Abuja Football College goalie.

In the 43rd minute Ubale Mannir made it three for the Eagles and from then on the thinking was that there will be a rain of goals for the national team. How wrong the thoughts were, as the Football College team, came forcefully into the game in the second half determined to upset the national team.

The national team's technical crew also did the obvious by pulling out the team that started the first half for a new team in the second. By this time Chigozie Agbim, Papa Idris, Zango Umar, Ejike Uzoenyi and Gambo Mohammed held sway for the national side. But it was the more determined Football College side that got the opening goal of the half when John Ajaiyi ran past a tentative Idris to score the first goal for his side in the 63rd minute.

Football College Coach, Ahmed Ahmed, doing a post mortem of the encounter said that his wards were overwhelmed in the first half by the intimidating central defence pair of Godfrey Oboabona and Azubuikie Eguwueke.

"When they were removed in the second half I told my boys to go through the central as their replacement were less troublesome and intimidating. But I know that the national team merely took the game easy with us, but we also gave them a good fight."

The national team is expected to file out again on Saturday for another test match at the training pitch of the National Stadium, before the home-based lads for the trip to Miami, USA against Venezuela will be announced.

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