FGC Sokoto are runners-up of the FEDCOL Soccer Fiesta
All Good Things Must Come to a Honourable End. FGC Sokoto are runners-up of the FEDCOL Soccer Fiesta.
Today was not meant to be our day, as the boys succumbed to the tactical dominance of the Minna Boys.
All was not well prior to the start of the match due to strange faces appearing in the Minna team. We played Minna on Wednesday and were well acquainted with their players. Today they presented a team that was a generation ahead of the team we faced on Wednesday. In fact, it was a game of mercenaries against boys.
Our boys kicked off the came in the legendary “Green and White” colours of FGC Sokoto. We had barely settled down In the 1st minute, when Minnna attacked our goal with an aimless shot that was misjudged by our keeper. An unfortunate way to start the game by going down a goal in the 1st minute.
Upon resumption our boys attempted to assert themselves. Minna were having none of it. They had height advantage. We tried to play the ball on the ground to no avail. In return they unleashed a tiki-taka strategy that was too advanced for the tournament age group. Nevertheless, we trudged on. In the 1st half we didn’t get any corner kicks due to the suffocating defence from the Minna defenders. They tackled, dazzled and calmly brought the ball out of their defence, akin to the total-football style of the Johan Cryuff era. We had one or two chances that were scoffed over the bar. Other than that, the half belonged to minna.
At half time the coaches and principal encouraged the boys to keep pushing for the equalizer. Noticeably we had a depleted bench due to injuries. Hence the coaches had limited options.
We started the 2nd half with lots of bite. We seemed to have overcome the 1st half trauma. Our talisman, Yabo aka “French man” was beginning to show himself. He used his silky dribbles to draw out the defenders, hoping to create room for the strikers to score. We got a few half chances but couldn’t capitalize. We had a legitimate penalty call that was turned down by the referee. If we were to score, our finishing had to be clinical.
As the 2nd half wore on, our boys abandoned their tactical shape and were throwing bodies forward to the try an get the equalizer. Their inexperience of being down forced them into panic mode. Prior to the final, they had not gone down by a goal to any team. They were in strange territory.
The Minna coach made tactical adjustments to counter our offensive barrage. Knowing fully well that their defence could contain us, he took out a midfielder and introduced a striker (4-3-3 )This formation gave them width in the midfield and attack. The more we pushed bodies forward, the easier it was for them to over stretch our defence through counter-attacks.
in the 70th minute they got a breakaway and attacked our depleted defensive line with lightning speed. Their top striker Emmanuel Udeh led the charge. He gave a through ball to their right midfielder, who in turn faked as if he was going to shoot on goal. Only for him to cut back and pass the ball to Emmanuel. Who was at the mercy of our goalkeeper. He didn’t waste time in making it 2-0.
We were defeated but not beaten!
We fought hard to get back into the game with chances coming here and there. All proved abortive. As the game drew to a finality it was clear that our boys were looking for a “soccer Moses” who was going to help them part the Minna defence. The football miracle was never meant to be.
There were 3 added minutes of extra time, which Minna used to waste time on the pitch. The referee blew his whistle to the excitement of the Minna boys and the dejection of our boys. The “gods of soccer” had switched sides.
Our heroes fell on their knees in charming tears. They badly wanted to win the finals. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. Their pain did not last for too long as their co-representatives, Queen Aminas of FGGC Zaria came over to comfort them with victory songs. The girls did the magic. Our boys lit up and began to interact with their supporters. The boys from Minna were also on hand to comfort and urge them on.
Our President , @Hambali Tukur comforted them. Reminding them that making it to the finals, was as good as being victorious. He also congratulated them for coming 2nd among the 104 unity schools in the country. A remarkable feat he added. He donated N50,000 to the team and promised that FEGOCOSOSA will do more to support sports in FGC Sokoto.
Captain of the 78-Set, Ancestor Isa Kure aka “Pele Muyaya” was also on hand to support the President who happened to be his classmate in Sokoto. He congratulated the boys for being credible representatives of FGC Sokoto. He took them down memory lane of his exploits as a footballer for the school. There by earning him the nickname “Pele Munaya”. He gave the team N30,000 as a way of saying thankyou for following in his footballing steps.
The 97-Set were not left out. Their PRO and Socials Secretary, Shehu Abubakar donated N50,000 to the team on behalf of the 97 Set. He congratulated the players for a successful tourney.
Our gallant boys received the 2nd place trophy and certificates with lots of support from the cheering crowd. They came, they saw and they conquered their hearts with their skillful displays.
On a final note it has been a wonderful 4 days of nostalgic memories. Participating in this tourney made me relive my school days. It also reinforced the fact that FGC Sokoto is still a brand to reckon with in secondary school football. we were the only school whose alumni took out time to support their Alma-mater. The Principal and his team were highly appreciative of our efforts and urged us to do more for the school.
I will like to thank the following:
My 2IC, Saidu Ibrahim (99 set) who provided photography support throughout the tourney. He was timely in attending all the games. His tactical understanding of football is 2nd to none. Only that he is not good on the pitch. 😂😂
Shehu Abubakar (97-set) who took out time to cheer the boys on, in the finals. He also gave the boys a post-match pep talk. Advising them to cherish their moments in FGC, for they will come in handy in the future.
Ancestor Isa Kure who at short notice dashed down to Suleja to boost the team’s morale. He kept asking for updates while he was on the road. On informing him that the team was down 1-0. He pledged N1,000 per player if they equalized and won the match. He still redeemed the pledge despite the loss.
The great Alumni of our Alma-mater who have been very supportive from the onset. Your messages of encouragement were communicated to the team.
The Management of the school who were on hand to support the boys. You cannot fault the Principal for his level of commitment. He is a shining star.
The host school, Suleja Academy. They hosted with dignity and honour. Despite being knocked out at the preliminary stages of the tournameny, their students were always on hand to cheer on the participating teams. The students exhibited a very high level of discipline that reminded me of my days in school. They dressed neatly throughout the tourney. They were courteous and orderly. During my interactions with them, I saw in them the future of Nigeria. My experience at Suleja Academy gives me lots of assurances that the Unity School System is still the best Secondary School Model in Nigeria.
The boys of FGC Maiduguri who were voted as the best-dressed team. They’ve been through a lot considering the strife that’s affected the region over the last 7 years. Through football they were able to promote their Alma-mater and the city of Maiduguri.
The Queen Aminas of FGGC Zaria. They were the 12th man for our team. Despite their tight schedules, their support for our team was next to none. They were always on hand to felicitate with us after our matches. Their victory songs after our loss in the finals, nailed it.
Our Boys who have proven to be worthy ambassadors of our Alma-Mater.
Our committed and indefatigable FEGOCOSOSA President, Air Commodore Hambali Tukur rtd. On short notice, he promised to attend the finals. He arrived the venue in his kaftan. But when he saw the urgency at hand, he switched to his FEGOCOSA sports gear. He was also on the bench with the team to offer his tactical advice in counter-striking. He has been a motivator since he took over the affairs of FEGOCOSOSA.
The boys have done us proud. We live to fight another day.