Unlucky maybe but our first Nigeria National League (NNL) game ever ended in a goalless draw against Giant Brillar FC at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, in what was a surreal experience.
Coach Abiodun Obafemi selected his starting XI to persecute the game in what looked like a 4-4-2 formation.
LINE UP; GK: John Amah; Idowu Yusuf (C), Gabriel Adewara, Sebastian Godwin, Uchenna Emmanuel; Musa Habeeb, Damola Oluwa, Olubode Hassan, Oyedokun Tosin; Odibo Godwin, Salami Farouk.
The first half wasn’t filled with many chances or clear-cut chances even as Nduka Ugbade’s Giant Brillar didn’t sit back and allow the home team have all the possession.
End to end it was, and gradually as the game wore off, we grew into the game as Salami Farouk was presented with a fortune by Brillar goalkeeper the teenage striker, couldn’t capitalize on the situation as his shot was blocked, but his pass however to Tosin was good and his strike rattled and cannoned off the woodwork, becoming the best chance of the game.
Soon the halftime whistle sounded and both teams retreated into the dressing room for team talk with the scores still level.
The second half was just as fast as the first with both teams coming to the party early. We had the better share of the ball and crafted our chances after chances with just the final ball lacking.
Giant Brillar however got the best chance of the half as it was their turn to have an effort hit the crossbar, after a good work in the build-up. This led coach Obafemi to make his first and second changes at once.
Isah Saheed and Ogoh Stanley came on to replace Damola Oluwa and Olubode Hassan respectively, and both newcomers sprung to action quickly with Isah becoming a menace in the whole attacking area of the pitch and Farouk becoming more dominant, as he eventually found the back of the net after connecting to a cross on the right-hand side, from defender Uchenna who got forward for the spam of long throws from Godwin which caused our opponents lots of problems.
Eventually, the breakthrough didn’t come and both teams had to kick off their NNL campaign with a 0-0 draw, even after five minutes of additional time from the center referee.