By Tunde Liadi
Comprehensive Secondary School, Amakohia and Comprehensive Secondary School, Ubomiri are the first two schools to qualify for the next round of the debut edition Ikukuoma Foundation sponsored Owerri Zone Secondary Schools Football Tournament that began on Wednesday in Owerri.
The tournament aimed at catching grassroots talent at the secondary schools level is sponsored by the owner of Ikukuoma Foundation, High Chief Dr Summers Nwokie in conjunction with Like-Minds Fitness Club, Owerri who are helping to coordinate the event.
In the first game played at the practice pitch of the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri on Tuesday, Comprehensive Secondary School, Amakohia came back from 2-0 down to beat Ngor Okpala High School 5-4 on penalties.
Ngor Okpala High School started the game like house on fire scoring two quick goals in the 20th and 24th minutes through Elike Chiemena and Ekeh JohnMark. They threatened to score more but didn’t convert them as the first half ended with the Okpala side leading 2-0 comfortably.
At the resumption of the second half, the Game Master of Comprehensive Secondary School, Amakohia made two changes and it became the turning point of the game. Great Egbuhuzo reduced the tally in the 63rd minute through a deft finish. He collected the ball from Onuoha Onyinyechi and buried it to the bottom right corner.
The come back became complete four minutes after the initial effort from Egbuhuzo who scored the second goal again from a goal mouth scramble.
There was no further goal until the referee’s final blast of the whistle and the game went to penalty shootout before Amakohia progressed 5-4 on penalties. All the initial eight penalty kicks were converted before Ngor Okpala High School player fluffed his in the ninth kick. Amakohia’s goalkeeper completed the job when he converted the last spot kick.
In the second game played also on Wednesday, Comprehensive Secondary School, Ubomiri pipped Army Day Secondary School, Obinze 1-0. 11 shirted Uzoma Chigaemezu completed a great counterattack for the only goal of the game.
Today, two matches are also slated. In the first game to be played by 10 am, Community Secondary School, Umuonyeali Mbieri will be up against Pater Noster Secondary School, Ahiazu Mbaise while in the second game, Comprehensive Secondary School, Orji lock horns with Comprehensive Secondary School, Ngugo, Ikeduru. It starts by 12 noon.