Posted by Nelson Dafe, Benin City | 3 July 2014 | 3,593 times
Nigeria’s Premier League giants Sharks of Port Harcourt yesterday evening qualified for the next round of the Federations Cup, beating Kwara United of Ilorin 4-3 on penalties.
The game played at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City was a very exciting affair as division 1 outfit Kwara Utd came agonizingly close to recording an upset against their more illustrious opponents.
Segun Alebosu put Kwara ahead with about 10 minutes of regulation time remaining by tapping into an empty net following a delightful move by substitute Adeshina Gata. The petite attacker weaved his way through a sea of Sharks legs and found himself in front of the six-yard box. His shot came off the bar to the right of the Kwara goalkeeper, and Alebosu was on hand to profit from the rebound.
Sharks brought their experience to bear by laying a late-minute siege on Kwara’s area. Their efforts paid off when Christian Pyagbera scored with seconds of the three added minutes remaining to send team mates, Sharks coaches and fans wild in jubilation.
The match got off to an electrifying start; Sharks almost scoring in the early minutes but Pyagbara, with only the keeper to beat but his shot came off the bar.
Soon after, Kwara responded with a chance of their own. Enterprising Samuel Adegbenro bamboozled two Sharks defenders at the edge of the 18-yard box and shot to the right of Danladi Isa who spilled the shot. Unbelievably, Alabesu missed with the goal gaping.
Sharks enjoyed a larger share of the first half possession, but Adegbenro looked the best player on the pitch as his tricky dribbles from the right wing caused problems for Sharks.
The introduction of Gata in the second half gave Kwara a lift as his direct dribbling provided Sharks with another serious problem to solve. Meanwhile, Adegbenro continued to shine.
When Kwara scored with a few minutes left, it looked all over for Sharks. But substitute Fortune Omoniyeri combined effectively with Pyagbara to fight for an equaliser that duly came.
In the penalty shootout, it was a cruel blow of fate that Adegbenro who had been the best player on the pitch would miss the last kick for Kwara. Sharks goalkeeper Isa converted his side’s fifth kick to send his team through to the next round of the competition.
•Photo shows Sharks scorer Christian Pyagbara.
No comments yet. Be the first to post comment.