Ikukuoma Mbaise Owerri Zone U-20 Football Tourney: Aguneze eyes second round ticket as Amumara, Ihitte, Ere Na Biringwe & Nnarambia get first wins

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Matches continued at the ongoing Ikukuoma Mbaise Owerri Zone U-20 Football Tournament last weekend with Amumara Community (Ezinihitte Mbaise) defeating Okpofe Ezeagbogu (Ezinihitte Mbaise) 1-0 while Ihitte Ward (Ezinihitte Mbaise), Ere Na Biringwe (Owerri West), Nnarambia (Ahiazu Mbaise) also secured victories in the tourney solely sponsored by High Chief Summers Nwokie who is the President Ikukuoma Sports Development Foundation.

Osuagu Winner’s nine minute effort was the difference as Anumara defeated Okpofe 1-0 at Ezeagbogu Central School Field, Mbaise on Sunday evening in a Group D tie for their first win of the tournament.

Okpofe Ezeagbogu who had initially defeated Umuoree Eziudo Community (Ezinihitte Mbaise) 1-0 on Wednesday 31st January have had their return overturned by the Technical Committee of the tournament for fielding over aged players and the game would now be replayed on Sunday February 11th by 12 noon.

Amumara with three points and top in Group D will face Umuoree on Friday February 9 knowing that a draw would be enough to take them to the next stage of the tournament. But with Umuoree up against Okpofe two days later, they cannot afford not to get a positive result in the game.

Also on Sunday, in a Group E tie Ihiagwa Ward (Owerri West) maintained their unbeaten streak in the tournament after two games in their 2-2 draw with Lude Community (Ahiazu Mbaise). It was their second draw in the tourney after another draw earlier against Ibeku Ward (Aboh Mbaise).

Ihiagwa were ahead in the game through Chidiebube Ononaiwu in the 10th minute but Lude came back forcefully two goals scored by Onyekachi David and Uchechukwu Ohaegbulam in the 25th and 50th minutes. Price Ukaegbu made Lude paid the ultimate price when he equalised for Ihiagwa in the 88th minute to ensure both teams went home with a draw.

Ihiagwa are atop Group E with two points while Lude and Ibeku Ward have a point each. The decision day comes on Friday this week when Ibeku Okwuato (Aboh Mbaise) comes up against Lude in the final group game. Ihiagwa are as good as qualifying for the next round with the two points while they would be joined the winner between the two teams. But Ihiagwa may still be eliminated if Lude and Ibeku play out a high scoring draw.

Earlier on Saturday, Chigozie Chijioke’s 10th minute clincher earned Ihitte Ward (Ezinihitte Mbaise) a priceless three points that has sent them to the next round of the tournament with four points from two games from Group C. They had played a draw with Ogwa Community (Mbaitoli) in the first game.

It will be fight to finish between Ogwa Community and Mpam Ekwereazu for the second ticket from Group C. The game holds on Thursday at Central School Field, Ezeagbogu (Ezinihitte Mbaise).

In another fixture played, Emii Community (Owerri West) got the three points without kicking a back following the unavailability of Mbieri Community (Mbaitoli) to honour their second fixture. Mbieri had lost their first game 1-0 to Irette Ward 10 (Owerri West).

With this development, Emii Community and Irette Ward 10 are in pole position to pick the two tickets in Group B. Both teams will clash on Thursday by 2pm to determine who tops the group.

On Friday, Nguru Nweke (Ahiazu Mbaise) were given a reality check by Ahiazu Mbaise based Nnarambia who scooped the three points through Uwazie Chibueze second minute goal in a Group H tie while Ere Na Biringwe pipped Obizi Community (Ezinihitte Mbaise) 1-0 in a major upset. Cyprian Ononauggbo’s fourth minute strike was enough for the three points in the Group A fixture.

On Tuesday, February 6th, Obokwu Community (Ezinihitte Mbaise) will slug it out with Uvuru (Aboh Mbaise) in a Group G tie. Obokwu and Oru Community (Ahiazu Mbaise) are joint leaders with a point each while Uvuru are playing their first game on Tuesday. Uvuru must avoid defeat to stand a better chance of qualifying from the group ahead of their second group game on Saturday this week.

The second game on Tuesday is between Aguneze Community (Ahiazu Mbaise) and Umuhu Okwuato (Aboh Mbaise) in a Group F cracker. It is Umuhu’s first game in the tourney. Aguneze will qualify even before the last group game between Onicha Nwankwo (Ezinihitte Mbaise) and Umuhu Okwuato (Aboh Mbaise) on Saturday, if they secure a draw.

The Ikukuoma Mbaise Owerri Zone U-20 Football Tournament is packaged and sponsored by High Chief Summers Nwokie whose love for football is second to none. He has sponsored it to ensure that Owerri youths channel their energies towards something positive and see if they can make a career out of football.

Ikukuoma Mbaise Owerri Zone U-20 Football Tournament Results

28-1-2024 Ere Na Ebirigwe (Owerri West) 0-1 Ogbe Community (Ahiazu Mbaise)

30-1-2024 Mbieri (Mbaitoli) 0-1 Irette Ward 6 ( Owerri West)

Ihitte Ward (Ezinihitte Mbaise) 1-1 Ogwa Community (Mbaitoli)

31-1-2024 Okpofe/ Ezeagbogu (Ezinihitte Mbaise) 1-0 Umuoree Eziudo (Ezinihitte Mbaise)

Ihiagwa Ward 10 (Owerri West) 1-1 Ibeku Ward (Ezinihitte Mbaise)

01-02-2024 Aguneze Community (Ahiazu Mbaise) 2-0 Onicha Nwankwo (Ezinihitte Mbaise)

Obokwu Community (Ezinihitte Mbaise) 2-2 Oru Community (Ahiazu Mbaise)

02-02-2024 Nguru Nweke (Ahiazu Mbaise) 0-1 Nnarambia Ward (Ahiazu Mbaise)

Ere Na Ebirigwe ( Owerri West) 1-0 Obizi Community (Ezinihitte Mbaise)

03-02-2024 Ihitte Ward (Ezinihitte Mbaise) 1-0 Mpam Ekwereazu (Ahiazu Mbaise).

Mbieri (Mbaitoli) 0-3 Emii (Owerri North) Walkover

04-02-2024 Ihiagwa (Owerri West) 2-2 Lude Community (Ahiazu Mbaise)

Okpofe Ezeagbogu (Ezinihitte Mbaise) 0-1 Amumara Community (Ezinihitte Mbaise)

06-02-2024 Obokwu Community (Ezinihitte Mbaise) vs Uvuru (Aboh Mbaise)

Aguneze Community (Ahiazu Mbaise) vs Umuhu Okwuato (Aboh Mbaise)

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