Akwa Ibom’s only two representatives in the Nigerian National League (NNL) 2019/2020 season, Vandrezzer FC & Ibom Youth FC yesterday played out a goalless draw in a friendly game decided at the University of Uyo mini stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.
This is the second meeting between both sides, who share the same home stadium (Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium). The only other meeting was a friendly last year at played the in Ibiono Ibom L.G.A where Ibom Youth won by a lone goal.
Yesterday’s game on the neutral Uniuyo pitch which was in a poor state, however lasted only seventy eight minutes. Centre referee Solomon Ndon ended the tie thirty three minutes into the 2nd half, citing issues including poor visibility, increased physicality of the game and degrading state of the pitch.
The first fifteen minutes of the eventually exciting and physical game which kicked off by 16:30 GMT+1 (4:30pm local time) registered no shot on target, as both sides wrestled to gain dominance in their half.
Three minutes on, Ekerete Udom was in the mix of a goal mouth scramble and grabbed the chance at a final touch from Christopher Lolo’s cornerkick. The tall lad got a goal with a lovely right foot shot, but the celebrations were cut short when the centre referee disallowed the goal for a foul committed in the box.
Reality then seemed to have checked Ibom Youth and awakened a great push at goal from Vandrezzer’s neighbours.
The Lions were made to work harder defensively, Onyekachi Akakem, Godwin Ekpo and David Mark controlled proceedings from the back with full support from Christopher Lolo, Pederson Ajong and Lawrence Effiong in midfield.
The game later turned very physical, a fact evident in the second half as four players (two from either side) were cautioned by the referee.
This was after the Youth got a chance at goal twice from well taken freekicks in the 51st and 56th minute of the game, forcing goalkeeper Peter Idongesit to make brilliant saves on both occasions.
After a goalless seventy eight minutes, at about 18:02 Hrs GMT +1 (6:02