Vandrezzer FC returned to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over second-placed Gateway United, in a week 20 fixture of the Nigeria National League played on Thursday. 

Two first half goals from Saheed Obisesan and Gideon Monday, before a stoppage time strike by Felix Oloye, were more than enough to cancel out James Orosanye's goal for the visitors, as the Lions of Naija claimed a first victory in six NNL games. 


The tie which was originally supposed to take place on Friday July 1, suffered two postponements before eventually kicking off on Thursday morning at the Legacy Pitch, National Stadium. 

VFC Acting head coach Yemi Olanrewaju made three changes to the starting lineup in the friendly win over Sporting on July 3, with Obinna Akuchie, Oloye Felix and Olalekan Abdulsalam replacing Paul Emenike, Kingsley Akpan and Somtochukwu Abraham in the goalkeeping, full back and striking positions respectively. 

The Lions dominated the early exchanges against Gateway, who came seeking points to challenge for a place in the top flight next season. 

After a couple of missed chances by Gideon Monday, Isaac Saviour and Olalekan in the half hour, the Lions were finally rewarded for their intensity with a goal by Saheed Obisesan. A lovely cross from the left by Oloye met Gideon who dribbled two defenders before deciding to square to Obisesan, the latter wasting no time in blasting the ball past the Gateway goalkeeper. 

After the restart, VFC kept the pressure on their visitors who again cracked less then three minutes after the first goal, this time it was Obisesan repaying the favour by delivering a sweet cross Gideon to clinically head the ball into the right side of the Gateway post.

The Lions held on for the remainder of the half to take the 2-0 advantage into the dressing room. 

Second Half

Both sides made changes at the start of the second installment of the game - coach Olanrewaju bringing on Fawas Otun and Uwem Charles for Kabiru Popoola and Golden Udo-Iyang.

The visitors however struck five minutes into the second half, after Obisesan lost the ball, leading to an eventual shot past goalkeeper Obinna by Gateway captain James Oronsanye, to make it 2-1. 

VFC did well to ward off more pressure from Gateway who seemed revived with the goal, but Opara Abraham, Bassey Odiong and Fawaz Otun (who eventually grew into the game), were ever efficient from the middle and the back to stop any onslaught.  As the Lions pushed on, Uwem Charles was brought down and a freekick awarded close to the opponents’ 18 yard box, but Saviour's shot went inches over the bar. 

Gideon will try to get a third around the hour mark but was caught offside; but the attacker was on the move again and got a near one-on-one chance with the visitors' goalie, who punched wide for a corner kick. 

Corner kicks, free kicks were the order of the day in the final quarter of the game as VFC took the game to their opponents and could have made it goal number three when Saviour tried to stylishly chip the Gateway goal-tender who was inches away from his line, but the bulky shot stopper read it nicely. 

The icing on the cake finally came when Oloye Felix pounced on a blocked free-kick by Saviour in added time (90+1), and wasted no time in delivering a powerful left-footed strike into the net.

 "It's just as I predicted, I told you after our last training that the boys will win convincingly which eventually happened" said an excited Coach Olanrewaju who was overseeing his first competitive game as acting head coach. 

"We still haven't played our best though, because these are very fantastic players. Against Sporting we played 30% level, today was 40%, and I hope we hit 50 in our next game against Ikorodu City. All the same, I'm very proud of the boys and we are still on course to getting maximum points from our final games of the season" the U-17 national team coach added. 


VFC were expected to take on Ikorodu City in their final Lagos derby and penultimate game of the season on Sunday, July 17, 2022 in Lagos. The game has however been postponed to a date yet to be announced by the league body. 


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