It turned out a memorable debut for Samuel Kalu as his lone strike made the difference for FC IfeanyiUbah in their MatchDay 1 fixture against new comers, Adamawa United in the at the 2019/20 season of Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). Kalu scored on the 40th minute to gift his side all three points in the encounter at the Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium in Ozubulu.
Kalu, in his first outing for the Anambra Warriors made his listing count for club handler, Uche Okagbue, count when he buried a cross from Chigozie Chikwelu five minutes to the end of the first half.
Okagbue started with a relatively new team from what the Nnewi based club paraded last season with Ekene Awaziem’s return to the squad a very significant addition.
His opposite at Adamawa United, Bello Mohammed reserved his new signings and fielded the players that helped the club gain promotion to the NPFL.
The host had the first chance at goal when Ozioma Lucious sent a cross to Eric on the third minute but his effort went wide.
Hero for the visitors, Pwadadi Bulus showed early signs of his stuff when he made a point blank save of Chigozie Chikwelu’s attempt.
On the 21st minute, it was the turn of Adamawa United to ruffle their opponents when they were awarded a free-kick close to the FC Ifeanyi Ubah’s goal area. But Adam Yakubu’s jump was not enough to connect Lujan Javan’s cross.
Then came the 40th Minute strike by Kalu to calm the anxious fans as he beat Pwadadi in goal to give his side the solitary goal of the match.
Second half began with Coach Mohammed making an early substitution, taking off Johnpaul Chinedu for Sadiq Lawan and the visitors pushed for an early equalizer with Felix Kenan making an audacious attempt from Juvan’s pass. If they appear to have found their rhythm, it was coming a wit late as the hosts were resolute in defending their lead.
In search of more goals, Okagbue substituted Philip Achibong for his last season’s highest goal scorer, Chibuike Ezeh and he would go on to win his side a penalty on the 63rd minute. Pwadadi made a perfect judgment to save the kick.
FC Ifeanyi Ubah would manage to see out the game as the visitors kept pressing for an equalizer that never came.
A relieved Okagbue said it was a tough match for his team and explained that they came up against a side that has been together for a longer time.
“It was a good match. The team gave us a good fight and you know they have one advantage. The team has been together throughout last season”.
On his part, FC IfeanyIubah captain, Charles Okafor believes that the team would get better as the season progresses and boasted that they would defeat MFM FC in their next fixture.
“It was not an easy game but our experience paid off for us. You know this is the first match day and it is usually very difficult. The three points is very vital to us. We keep our head high and we continue to get better. In our next game against MFM FC, we will fight to get another three points”.