Wednesday, 18 May 2016

When Will Ikorodu United Return Home?

By Amos Joseph
We are approaching mid-season, and teams are beginning to count their fortunes in the 2015/2016 Nigerian Professional League. The League table captured the performance of all the teams involved.

After a convincing win in their week 14 encounter against Heartland FC and a slim loss to Pillars at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano, fans of Ikorodu United became optimistic of a turn around in the fortunes of the club.

In their last home game, Ikorodu hosted Plateau United at Onikan Stadium in a midweek encounter with the Lagos side looking really good from kickoff, in fact it seemed like it was going to be a party for Oga boys. The pressure paid off as the home team took the lead to throw the half empty Stadium into a jubilant mood, at least for the few who made their way to the stadium to enjoy and support the team. It really looked like a party! But the visitors were unperturbed.

Unfortunately, the party was disrupted as the visitors struck and drew level to cancel Ikorodu’s lead twice and celebrated their draw at the end of the day.

Although they didn’t get a full capacity, but the few Lagos fans who took time out to see the game gave their support, shouted and cheered the team. Unfortunately, the home team were left disappointed with a 2-2 draw. Some supporters of the club murmured, “Take us to Agege Stadium, we don’t want Onikan”. The question is, are we to blame it on the stadium now?

The newly promoted side was handed an opportunity to play inside Agege Stadium against visiting Heartland on their 13th league match which ended 3-1 in their favour. Come to think of it, it was their own choice (club management) to adopt Onikan stadium as home ground upon their arrival in the top division.

As it stands, the club is rooted to the bottom of the log with just 10 points from 17 league games (2 wins, 4 draws and 11 Losses ). If nothing changes in a short while, they may return to the NNL. It is also important to mention that they had an awful outing in the Nigeria National League (NNL) Super Four, although it is sometimes difficult to judge a team based on its performance in pre-season. But could this be the case for this team as their performance sometime is questionable as to whether they had a pre-season as a team?

It is no time for blame game though, but it would be nice to examine, to review the season so far and plan towards the second half to avoid the looming relegation. The fans have clamoured to be taken to Agege Stadium to prosecute league games. Is it really an issue of the ground or how the team has fared in their outings?

On technical grounds, the team changed handlers in week 7 as Sam Okpodu took over as head coach. For a breakdown, the club’s first 10 league matches (2 home losses, 2 home draws, 5 away losses and just 1 win at home) and the next seven (2 home draws, 4 away loses, and 1 famous home win at Agege. Imagine if the club had been able to secure wins in their home games on If only they could secure home wins at least, it would have boost and helped their campaign.

Frankly speaking, this side lacks depth to grind result when it mattered. A check on the games they drew and some of the losses on home soil shows they were not just convincing enough! Can we say it is a matter of experience? May be the team management needs to consider reshuffling the squad when the window opens in mid season, and if it also deems it fit to test another ground, I think the League Management Company is ever willing to assist teams who have cogent reasons to change home grounds. Do they have one?

Culled from

Thursday, 17 March 2016

UCL Round of 16 wrap: Could it be that the the boys separated from the men yet?

When a tournament gets to a certain stage, it is often said that the boys have been separated from the men. Could this be the case already in the Champions League as the last eight have been decided?
Some will say the usual suspects have made it through, other also say that deserving teams have qualified based on their performance. Whatever the case may be, the world has potentials, men with guts and hunger to progress, and above all some exciting football.

Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona made it through after defeating Roma and Arsenal respectively. Also from Spain Atletico Madrid fought a battle of their lives in a thrilling encounter with PSV decided on penalty shootout.

Paris Saint German edged Chelsea, Manchester City booked a place in the last eight for the first time in the campaign after seeing off Dynamo Kiev while Benfica also beat Zenit.

German champions Bayern Munich produced a stunning come back against Juventus to progress as fellow Germans Wolfsburg also saw off Gent to qualify.

Eight clubs from five countries will feature in the draw for the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals which will be held on Friday, 18th March, 2016, What are your expectations? Ready to see the real men make it though?

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Sunshine Stars: Unuanel, Henry Abiodun Lose Jobs

Report from the camp of Sunshine Stars has it that Coach Samson Unuanel and Henry Abiodun have been axed as from their post as managers of the NPFL side due to internal wrangling between both men.

Kayode Olujoungbe takes over as interim coach pending the appointment of a new substantive head coach

Olujoungbe who is coach of Sunshine Queens resumes his appointment with immediate effects.

The team takes on Ifeanyi Ubah this weekend.

More as events unfold.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

My Jealousy: ''In the days of Stationery Stores''

By Amos Joseph
Okay! this is what you will find in the first paragraph on Wikipedia when you check for the words ''Stationery stores'' on google. The team Stationery Stores was founded in 1958 by Israel Adebajo, who ran the Nigeria office of the Stationery Stores Supply Company. They immediately established themselves as one of the dominant teams in the area and country, supplying the bulk of the first editions of the national team and winning a total 13 Lagos State Challenge Cups, the preliminary round for the Nigerian FA Cup.

I also learned that the team was in the top division of Nigerian football between 1973 and 1993. Within this period, the team won laurels and was loved by the Lagos fans for their entertaining style of play.

The famous Stationery stores was one of the teams that did great exploits back in the days with some rivalries to the delight of its ever-supportive and demanding fans. To mention, I heard Enugu Rangers was one of the teams’ fierce rivals.

Every time I hear the word ''in the days of Stores'', in my mind I try to imagine what exactly thrilled the entire country about this team that it still gets mentioned. From the records, the team has some members of its squad in the national team.

Personally, it was important for me to be at the stadium on Sunday 21st February, 2016 to watch Ikorodu United play host to Abia Warriors. Not because I had nothing to do on the day but because I love the game, I would report and most importantly, be a part of history.

The people of Lagos have not had a team in a while, and here come teams (including Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministry FC) who are have promised to meet up with the expectation of the ever-demanding Lagos fans as they play in the top-tier of the country’s football league. Those who have been around or say born in the early times before the 80s often use this cliché which I sometimes get jealous of, ''in the days of Stores''.

Honestly, the most used words on day one fixture at the Onikan Water-front was, ''laye Stores'' meaning ''in the days of Stores''. This did nothing but to rekindle my jealously, again! In fact, as soon as the visitors Akwa United took the lead, the stadium went silent. You could hear and perceive the hissing, sighing, and other body or say sign language from the disappointed home fans. Ha! ''Laye stores''.

The home team, ''Oga'' as they are fondly called, didn’t come to the party in the first half, as they were dominated by the Warriors from the East. Right there and then, the news came of the exploit of the Prayer Warriors (MFM FC) who were leading by two goals to nil on away soil in Katsina Ala, the temporary home of Nassarawa United. Something to cheer about you’d say!

Talking about Oga, prior to kick-off, the Oga at the top i.e Chairman of the club Babatunde Akindele spoke to Channels Sports on Sunday afternoon, promising that the club will play good football to the delight of the fans. Right there, I began to wonder if this is the good football. Although, the confidence and some individual skills exhibited by the players showed that the team has something to offer. Apparently, no joker would make it through to the topflight league in Nigeria but I hope the team would not be pressured by the fans.

The stadium was thrown into a jubilant mood when the home side, Ikorodu United grabbed the equalizer in the second half to put the match at per. How fans can change!

Back in the days, Lagos was not all about Stores. We had clubs like Leventis, Nepa, Julius Berger, ACB, and a few others even till NPA now Warri Wolves. Today, it is Ikorodu United and MFM FC, let us throw our weight behind the teams, come out in number and support Oga and the Prayer Warriors to the heights.

Who says this generation cannot offer something better than ''the good old days''? Lagos, this is not a sponsored or paid post to drum support for any club in particular, but I can categorically say that you would never be disappointed paying N200 to watch them display their finesse and panache.  Eko o'ni baje!

Monday, 15 February 2016

Warri Wolves will win Laurels this season - Tony Okowa boasts

Chairman Delta State Sports Commission Mr Tony Okowa has stated that the states' Premier League team Warri Wolves is aiming for all trophies this season.

Speaking in an interview with our correspondent Busayo Olowookere, he said that the club is bound to excel this season having been highly motivated by the state.

"I would not have expected anything short of a win. Win and win well so that by the time we get to the second leg in Sao Tome, we would have been a bit comfortable," - he said after the proposed match between the Sea siders and Praia Cruz of Sao Tome and Principe which turned out to be a walkover as the visitors failed to show up for the first round of their CAF Champions League match.

He expressed confidence in the new crop of players who recently joined the team as he expects a perfect blend in due time.

The chairman further confirmed the target for the season. In his words, "my target is to win the CAF champions League and the NPFL, we will win it all.

" I don't just talk, watch out for us," - he concluded.

Reports have it that Praia Cruz of Sao Tome and Principe has pulled out of the tournament. The seasiders will play Sudanese side Al Merreikh in the next phase of the competition.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Juventus Record 12th Straight League Win

By Ewomazino Orowor

Juventus, on Sunday, thrashed Chievo 4-0 at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi to record a dozen of consecutive victories in Serie A this season.

Juventus made their intentions clear as early as the 6th minute when Alvaro Morata tapped in from Stephan Lichtsteiner's low cross for the opener.
The Ex-Real Madrid forward would then register his second goal of the afternoon- and fourth of the week in all competitions -five minutes before half time to double the Bianconeri's lead.

Alex Sandro added a thunderous third for the Old Lady just after the hour mark before the outstanding Paul Pogba completed a brilliant team perfomance with a spectacular fourth for the away side in the 67th minute.

The result means Juventus have now recorded successive 4-0 league triumphs away from home following their hammering of Udinese a fortnight ago.
On a grander scale, the result means Massimiliano Allegri has led Juventus to a record-equaling 12th consecutive Serie A win, defeating AC Milan, Fiorentina and AS Roma in the process.

The last time Juventus tasted a league defeat was late October last year, in the hands of Sassuolo. After that loss, the Old Lady fell eleven points off the top of the table leaving their quest for a fifth straight Scudetto all but futile.

However, they have redintegrated themselves and are back in the title race, even going top of the table (albeit briefly) after Sunday's comfortable win over Chievo.

Should Juventus remain inexorable, they could earn a 13th successive league win for the first time in a single season when they welcome lowly Genoa, who are two places above the drop zone, on Wednesday.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Ondo House of Assembly Summons ODSFA management over Sunshine banishment

By Isaac Afolabi
The Ondo House of Assembly has summoned the management of the state's football body ODSFA and Sunshine Star FC head coach to explain the reason behind the violence which erupted during League fixture between the club and Lobi Stars.

Speaker of the House Mrs Jumoke Akindele affirmed at a plenary in the floor of the house that they are expected to report on Tuesday 24th November, 2015.

Moving the motion, Chairman House Committee on Sports, Mr Olumide George said there is need for explanation as the state is not known for such ugly display.

Following the incidence, Sunshine Stars were banished to Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos for the remainder of their league matches and were also fined the sum of five million naira.

However, the head coach Kennedy Boboye quit the club after leading the team to a sixth place finish.