It is the semi-final day at the ongoing Governor Ikpeazu Pre-season Tournament in Aba as three Nigeria Professional Football League teams: Plateau United, Abia Warriors, Enyimba and a non-league side, A&A FC face off Friday afternoon with the ultimate goal of qualifying for the Saturday grand finale of the tournament their prime target.
Www.dasportstainment247.com below highlights the two semi-final games and the likely players expected to light up the fixtures.
ENYIMBA vs PLATEAU UNITED (12 noon)
Enyimba and Plateau United are Nigeria’s flagbearers in the CAF Champions League and in as much as both would have loved to have this fixture in the final but the stage is set for a tantalising fixture billed for Saturday afternoon at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba.
Both teams have not been tested in the ongoing Governor Ikpeazu Pre-season Tournament the way they would have appreciated with mostly lower league and non-league teams their opponents thus far. Enyimba defeated Jewel FC, Cynosure FC, A&A FC and Abia Comets while Plateau United beat Abia Greater Tomorrow, Ngwa United and Flight FC while they drew goalless with Abia Warriors.
This match will gauge the level of both teams preparations for the CAF Champions League preliminary round ties and the NPFL season. Enyimba face Rahimo FC in Ouagadougou next weekend while Plateau United host Simba SC of Tanzania same weekend at home.
Stars to Watch:
Enyimba have Austin Oladapo, Olufemi Kayode, Cyril Olisema, Victor Mbaoma and Nelson Ogbonnaya to call on for a fascinating game while Plateau United have experienced Dele Ajiboye, Benjamin Turba, Oche Ochowechi, Nenrot Silas, Sunday Adetunji among others.
The game will no doubt be too close to call and the side that takes their chances is the one that progresses to the Saturday final.
ABIA WARRIORS vs A&A FC (3 pm)
Abia Warriors put themselves in good stead to pick a final ticket by ensuring that they topped Group B ahead of Plateau United whom they both finished the group stage with 10 points each. The Umuahia side already avoided a semi-final clash with Enyimba but it doesn’t mean they will stroll to the final without a fight against A&A FC on Friday afternoon.
A&A FC have relied heavily on the goals of Emmanuel Israel who has accounted for six of their seven goals and their further progression will depend mostly on the fitness of their goal-scoring talisman. They were fortunate to get a berth in the semi-final despite completing their group stage games before their two major adversaries: Abia Comets and Jewel FC.
Star to Watch:
Abia Warriors have array of stars in Ojo Olorunleke, Nzube Anazemba, Markson Ojobo, Bello Lukman, Obioma Chukwuemeka while A&A FC major threat remains Emmanuel Israel and Bassey Bassey.
Abia Warriors are no doubt the favourites but A&A FC know they will have a better platform to move to the next level with a place in the final.