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Obaje's double inspire FC Ifeanyiubah to 3-0 win over Remo Stars

By Fisayo Dairo

Last season's NPFL topscorer Godwin Obaje opened his goalscoring account for FC Ifeanyiubah as a comprehensive second half performance propelled the Anambra Warriors to a 3-0 win over basement side Remo Stars in a rescheduled Matchday 8 encounter decided on Wednesday.

After a frustrating first half, Obaje sent his team en route to victory eight minutes after the restart when he converted from the penalty spot. Ivorian Adou Blaise doubled the hosts' advantage with six minutes left on the clock before Obaje added icing on the cake with a close range finish in stoppage time.

Both teams dropped points at the weekend and thus made overwhelming changes to their matchday squads. That availed FC Ifeanyiubah's Brazilian midfield maestro Alberico Da Silva the opportunity to make his first start of the season and he made the most of it with a five-star performance.

Chances were few and far between in the first half with the hosts largely restricted to hopeless long range efforts by foreigners Tamen Medrano and Ngoma Luamba. Their visitors often showed glimpses of a well oiled engine with some sleek one-touch passing but ultimately failed to create chances in the final third.

The story changed in the second half though as the hosts became more adapted to coach Yaw Preko's 3-1-4-2 formation. Breakthrough was always going to come sooner rather than later and it came on 53 minutes when Remo Stars substitute Ekene Awazie handled Ifeanyi Onuigbo's cross inside the penalty box. Obaje duly obliged from the spot to claim his first goal in an Ifeanyiubah jersey.

The hosts thought they have added a second two minutes later but Jimoh Oni's effort was chalked off for offside. Further chances to increase the lead were denied by Remo Stars goalkeeper Chizoba Ndukwe including a reflex stop to deny teenage prospect Solomon Nsude a debut goal.

Ndukwe could however do nothing to prevent Adou Blaise from scoring his first goal for the club on 84 minutes. The Ivorian centre back met Alberico Da Silva's free kick with a powerful header from sick yards.

There was still enough time left however for Obaje to get his second and FC Ifeanyiubah's third goal when he controlled Olamilekan Aniyikaye's flick off another Alberico free kick before calmly slotting home from close range.

The win would come as a respite for the hosts who now face two games on the road in the next seven days.

Line-ups

FC IFEANYIUBAH: 22. Bamba Drissa 19. Jimoh Oni 24. Valentine Nwabili 34. Ngoma Luamba 29. Adou Blaise 4. Olamilekan Aniyikaye 27. Alberico Da Silva 8. Tamen Medrano 17. Godwin Obaje 35. Tony Msonter 11. Ifeanyi Onuigbo

Subs: 12. Uche Okafor 31. Michael Egbeta 36. Chinedu Mgbechimereze 25. Bright Onyedikachi 15. Patrick Ikeokwu 3. Kojo Baah 37. Nsude Solomon

REMO STARS: 30. Chizoba Ndukwe 11. Awoyemi Abiodun 4. Ekene Obi 13. Onuoha Chukwujekwu 2. Paul Isaac 18. Muhammed Saidu 8. Lasisi Saheed 22. Archibong Obo 36. Akeem Taiwo 31. Eric Dufegha 19. Olufemi Opeoluwa

Subs: 1. Adekunle Tunde 15. Oshobe Shuji 12. Osas Oknuoghae 10. Salefu Ochowechi 9. Ekene Awazie 17. David Onovo

Match stats
FC Ifeanyiubah 3-0 Remo Stars
Shots (On target): 14(0)-3(2)
Corners: 3-4
Fouls: 13-15
Offside: 1-2
Bookings: 1-3

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