FGC Sokoto Storms into the FEDCOL Games Semi-Finals
The Caliphate has finally conquered the Kanemi Empire! FGC Sokoto Storms into the FEDCOL Games Semi-Finals.
Our boys remained in the victory realm by defeating FGC Maiduguri by 2-1.
The game kicked off at exactly 8:30am. From the onset it was very obvious that our boys had won over the host fans. The touches and joggles of our boys were met with the chants of “aaaa” and that of Maiduguri were met with “uhhhhhh”. At a point in time, I thought I was watching the Super-Eagles in Surulere.
The boys asserted themselves in the first 10 minutes, with their midfield maestro (Yabo) aka “French Man” leading the charge. Interestingly this time around he was operating from the right side of the pitch and not his traditional left. Despite the switch, his artistry and cunningness remained unmatched. Our opponents had no choice but to play long balls hoping they could catch our defence off guard. Unfortunately for them, our defensive unit remained alert. Their positional play was superb.
As the game entered the 30th minute, our boys began to pepper the opposing keeper with atomic shots, but he was up to the task. In the 34th minute, “French Man” got the ball in the 3rd half of the pitch. He shilly-shallied and dilly-dallied through their defence. A quick one-two with the top striker and he was through to goal. He faked as if he was going to dribble the keeper, only for him to slot the ball calmly through his legs. Goalllllllllll! We were up 1-0. The boys celebrated with their usual back flips and high fives. Their coaches, Principal, Vice-Principal, PTA President and the cheering crowd were ecstatic. Their performance was utterly convincing.
The game resumed with the football currents still in our favor. In the 43rd minute, a scramble in our 18 yard box resulted in a very dubious penalty kick for Maiduguri. The referee claimed the ball was handled in the 18 yard box. The boys protested to no avail. The referee was not having any of it. Maiduguri equalized by calmly displacing our keeper.
The 1st half ended 1-1.
During the half time pep talks, the boys expressed confidence that there was no cause for alarm. They were up to the task. No Shaking!
The 2nd half kicked off with both sides testing each other’s prowess in the midfield. It was just a matter of time before our boys began to dominate the midfield in “man-o-war” fashion. The Maiduguri boys had run out of gas, while our boys were filled with gas. They tackled fiercely and won all the loose balls in the midfield.
The play had turned into a one-way traffic. Our boys kept pressing and missing clear-cut chances. Twice we had already started celebrating, thinking they had scored. Only for the ball to hit the bar.
As the 2nd half wore on, the coach reinforced the midfield by making two substitutions. The subs gave the team more bite and intensity.
In the last 10 minutes, our boys continued to push for the winning goal with barrages of shots from all parts of the 18 yard box. We finally got the chance we were looking for, when “French Man” cut through the defence like a grasscutter. A desperate tackle from the opposing defender brought him down in the 18 yard box. Penalty it was. The culprit pretended as if he was injured, hoping he could con the referee into reversing the call. The referee rather than show sympathy, gave the player a yellow card and ordered that he be stretchered off the pitch.
French Man stood calmly awaiting the referee’s whistle to carry on with the penalty kick. As soon as he got the nod to take the kick, he jogged slowly towards the ball, body faked to the right and communicated with the left-hand side of the goal post. The keeper remained rooted like a statue in the middle of the goal post. Our boys were up 2-1. They celebrated by running to their Principal who was at the VIP stand. They were highly elated.
At the resumption of play, it was very obvious that we had suck the life out of the Maiduguri boys. Their tempo represented a team that was waiting for the referee’s final whistle. The referee also noticing that they had nothing to offer on the pitch, blew the final whistle at exactly 90 minutes.
FGC Sokoto was the first team to make it to the Semi-Finals by topping Group A with 6 points. The boys celebrated by taking a lap of honour around the pitch. They also exhibited sportsmanship by going to console their sunken opponents.
The post-match celebrations continued. We have proven that we are the legitimate champions of the North by conquering the Northcentral (FGC Minna) and Northeast (FGC Maiduguri). The Northwest Representatives in girls football, The Queen Aminas of FGGC Zaria were also on hand to celebrate with the champions. They were excited that their co-representatives had done the region proud again.
Several pledges were redeemed to the team (Principal, VP, PTA Chairman, FEGOCOSA President), with lots of Gbosas and gratitude in return. French-Man was voted as the MVP for the 2nd game running.
The team will be playing the winners of the South-South Region, FGC Ogoja in tomorrow’s semi-final opponents.
The boys have done us proud.