Vandrezzer FC showed superiority with a two nil victory over Sporting Lagos, as the local rivals clashed for the first time in history, in a friendly played on Saturday, July 3, 2022.
Goals from attacker Gideon Monday and midfielder Isaac Saviour were enough for VFC to seal the bragging rights in what was nicknamed “The Battle of the Big Boys.”
Coach Yemi Olanrewaju on his first assignment as gaffer of the side, started Paul Emenike in goal, Opara Abraham, Bassey Odiong, Samuel Edoho and Kingely Akpan at the back, Kabiru Popoola , Isaac Saviour and Saheed Obisesan in the middle , while Golden UdoIyang, Gideon Monday and Somtochukwu Abraham started upfront.
The Lions showed intent as early as the quarter hour mark when Saviour fired from long range after receiving the ball from Popoola, but it went inches wide.
Sporting had to do a lot of defending within the half hour, and blocked a nice attempt from Somtochukwu, with the ball going out for a corner kick. The opening goal came in the 31st minute when Golden beat a defender before squaring a beautiful cross to Gideon who buried the ball in the right side of the Sporting post via a spectacular bicycle kick.
The second goal came less than fifteen minutes later, when Savior intercepted the ball from his opponent, outpaced him with a fine run into the 18 yard box of Sporting, before beating the goalkeeper with a right footed tap/in, to score VFC’s second of the day. The first half ended about a minute later.
In the second half, Coach Olanrewaju made about five changes to the team, with the intention not to overwork players ahead of Friday’s league game against Gateway United.
Somtochukwu came off for Olalekan Abdulsalam; Anas Hassan on for Popoola; Abasifreke Udo for Gideon; David Edet for Golden and Fawaz Otun off for Obisesan who was injured on his left thigh following a hard tackle by a Sporting midfielder in the 79th minute.
Sporting increased the pressure the remaining ten minutes of the game but Odiong and Opara kept the opposing attackers at bay, while Emenike was alert all through with few saves, including a lovely clearance at the edge of the box.
The Lions held on to win their first ever derby with local rival Sporting, amidst the stadium fanfare which brought colour to a game involving two of Nigeria’s most innovative football teams.
Though a friendly, coach Olanrewaju was excited that his team have the first bragging rights of this fixture, which also came with his first win as acting coach.
“I am excited to kick off my new role on a winning note. I also know how important this game was to the management and also the confidence of the boys, so we put in all we got to come out victorious. You can see we took it seriously even though it was a friendly, and at the end of the day we have the bragging right over Sporting. It was a great game and we are excited how it ended.”
The Golden Eaglets assistant coach added that all focus is now on gaining maximum points in the team’s final matches of the season.
“Our focus now is on winning our remaining three matches. I told the boys they would need to play a lot better than we did against Sporting to achieve this feat. We have a very talented squad and all we need to do is psyche ourselves up, cover some few lapses and we are good to go. We are hoping for the best in the coming days.”
The Champions of Lagos next take on Gateway United in an NNL Week 20 encounter on Friday July 8, at the Legacy Pitch of the National Statdium.
Vandrezzer FC...VICTORIOUS TOGETHER