Benin Warriors FC win one-day Coach Nnamdi Tournament in Benin City

By Daily Sports on June 14, 2018

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As the FIFA World Cup kicks off on Russia to the excitement of the waiting world, there's a group of youngsters and coaches working assiduously to keep the tradition of football going by grooming and managing the careers of young players in the grassroots to reach the heights of the stars that the world is set to watch in Russia 2018.

One such personality is coach Nnamdi Onuigbo, who is the head of the coaching crew of New and already successful football academy Abuja-based Sporting Dreams FC.

Onuigbo (endearingly known in Benin as coach Nnamdi is a very widely respected coach who was part of the Samson Siasia technical crew of the Nigeria ‘Dream Team’ to the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics games where Nigeria picked up bronze. 

Onuigbo who has overseen a successful growth of Sporting Dreams Academy within a short period, recently took the young club to the semi-final of the Abuja Federations Cup where they gallantly and narrowly lost out in the dying seconds of the tie to a professional side.

The young and amiable coach has also helped forge the careers of talented young players, some of whom are playing in foreign clubs today, while other youngsters who have passed through him are currently on scholarship/exchange programs overseas.

Coach Nnamdi paid a short visit to Benin City on Tuesday and on Wednesday, in the spirit of friendship with the invited clubs and a desire to enjoy watching exciting young talents, he hosted a three-team invitational tournament involving Ine Stars (the club he led to an improbable win of the 2016 Edo FA Cup),  Benin Warriors FC (2016 Edo State League champions) and Kings FC (a club that impressed with their compact game and physical abilities in the recently concluded in the Aiteo Edo FA Cup.

In his usual magnanimity, Coach Nnamdi made available cash prizes for the winners, second placed and even the third placed team, as well as offsetting some of the costs incurred on transportation to and from the Crescent Sports complex Urhogba match venue in the South West of Benin City.

The opening match of the round robin tournament between Ine Stars and Benin Warriors drew the expected fireworks and in t end Benin Warriors came back from one goal down to win 2-1.

The Warriors were left off the hook in the early seconds of the game when goalkeeper Chukwudi Onyemelife appeared to have brought down a rampaging Ine striker. The linesman had his flag up to signal a foul and penalty but the referee wasn’t convinced.

It became an end to end affair as the two teams showed their strengths.

Ine Stars exhibited the quick interplay of passing that ends with deadly crosses into the box, while Benin Warriors lined up in a 4-3-3 shape and looked to build up with patient triangular passing moves (anchored by their inspirational captain and central midfielder Samuel Ogbuku) to try to break the defensive lines of Ine.

Ine took the lead in the 18th minute when a cross from the left flank was dropped by Chukwudi and an onrushing attacker had a simple task of rolling the ball into the net.

Benin Warriors were undeterred by the setback and continued their patient and delicate passing football.

In the 27th minute they got their equaliser. Mercurial midfielder Jeremiah Salami made a darting run to the box to be at the end of a sweet passing move involving inverted left back Osarodion Izekor, Striker Sogie Igbinedion, intelligent central midfielder Chucks Omeke and sleek winger Osagie Agbontaen.

Salami showed good composure to place the ball into the gar let of the net beyond the disputing outstretched hands of the Ine keeper.

The second goal was to follow not long after. Again another smooth and quick inter-change of passes developed in the left flank and Omeke sent a long pass to Desmond Oji who was strategically positioned at the edge of the Ine box as the free man to escape the Ine press.

He had a man on him and used a beautiful skill known as ‘snake bite’ to beat his marker and made a run to the edge of the six-yard box before firing into the net.

Benin Warriors held on till the end to win the game.

In the next game, wounded Ine Stars beat Kings FC by 2-0.

It was another thriller as Ine missed an early penalty but scored from a beautiful cross which was met with aplomb.

King’s FC fought hard and thought they had equalised in the second half but the effort was ruled out for offside.

Not long after Ine scored their second of the game to leave Kings deflated, going into their match with Benin Warriors needing a 3-goals win to win the competition and avoid engaging in the bottom of the ladder.

Benin Warriors made a wholesale of changes to their first match line up but still found enough quality to win by 1-0. 

Energetic striker Sogie Igbinedion moved to the right flank as the Warriors moved to a 4-4-2 shape and he caused ceaseless pressure on Kings FC with his runs and power.

In one of such turns, Igbinedion provided a beautiful cross into the box for pacy Osazee Steven to slide home.

Kings later mounted intense pressure on Benin Warriors as they looked to salvage some pride but the Warriors ’keeper Chukwudi thwarted their efforts on the occasions when they got passed the Warriors back line.

The visiting teams expressed their appreciation to coach Nnamdi for sponsoring the one-day event and Benin Warriors particularly expressed their desire to enter into more strategic cooperation with the well-connected coach.

Source Daily Sports

Posted June 14, 2018

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