WE WERE TACTICAL DISCIPLINED IN BENIN – COACH FATAI
Akwa United put up a brilliant performance in Benin and deservedly secured their first point in an away game this season following a goalless draw with Bendel Insurance on Saturday afternoon at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.
Despite scoring five goals in their two previous away matches against Bayelsa United and Enyimba in which they lost, the match against Bendel Insurance was the first time this season that Akwa United failed to score on the road and coach Fatai Osho revealed that his team earned the point because of their superb tactical approach to the game.
“You can’t take anything away from Bendel Insurance team because they are well organized, I can remember vividly how they played in the super-six championship playoffs in Lagos at the end of last season, they still have the same coach and maintain the same playing philosophy, so we came prepared with the knowledge of the team and we told our players what to do to slow them down while looking for the chance to hit them offensively.
“In terms of slowing them down, we did a wonderful job in that area, because we knew the long balls will come and we were able to drop our backline consistently so those balls will not come behind us, so the tactical agreement on our part was superb the way our players carried them out but going forward in our offensive play, we didn’t do too well because on transition especially in the wide areas we didn’t really explore too much probably because we started with three center forward players who were unable to do well in the wide areas.
“We want to compensate ourselves with the one point from this game and going home we have two straight home games and the confidence level will rise and we can just start our winning season from there”.
Captain on the day, David Philip and right-back Samuel Ganda alongside Wisdom Ndon and Anthony Anioke provided the needed cover for goalkeeper Badmos Nurudeen who was in his element throughout the game. Midfielders Ubong Essien, Opamoye Gbenga and Seyi Oguntayo were compact in their midfield play while forwards Edidiong Ezekiel, Uche Collins and Hadi Mohammed destabilized the hosts backline with their attacking threats and runs down the flanks.
The introduction of Dare Ojo, Kufre Ebong, Osoba Kabir and Oshomo Tosin added the much needed energy to the team in the closing stages of the game as they held on to securing a valuable point in Benin.
With the goalless draw against Bendel Insurance, the 2021 champions are still bottom of the table with just three points from a possible fifteen after five rounds of matches comprising three draws and two defeats. They will next engage Gombe United on Wednesday in a mid-week game before facing Plateau United on Sunday on matchday six at the Eket Stadium.