By Tajudeen Ahmad
1. Compact Team
Osun United showed the compatibility in the match which ended in a lone goal victory. The defence was superb with the pairing of Akilapa and Osigwe who curtailed the threat of Sunshine Stars strikers even though the latter was shown exit door in the first half.
After Osun United were reduced to 10 men, Akilapa proved his mettle as an iron gate, blocking from the right left and centre. This means Osun United’s defence combination was perfect but now that Osigwe will miss the second leg, the coach should bring in a perfect replacement who will assist Akilapa to cross the t’s and dot the i’s of the defence.
2. Ayo Ojo’s well calculated reflexes
No wonder why he reclaimed his starting jersey after a horrific attack on their way from the Edo State recently where he was axed on the leg by daredevil men of the underworld. Ayo Ojo proved that he is one of the best shotstoppers in the Nigerian National League for his reflexes, which kept Sunshine stars at bay. The former Crown FC of Ogbomoso shotstopper was calm between the sticks and dived like a fish for any aerial ball. His grips were 100 percent but he should improve in his defencive control through his mouth.
3. Oba Chigozie
A Member of the Order of Niger (MON) , Chigozie showed his class as an experienced right full back, a clinical defender and an accurate set piece taker. His mountain laps assist in taken a hefty shot which has helped him record about 3 goals in the ongoing league. The former fifa under 17 world cup gold medallist is a hard nut to crack in the team.
4. Omoyele’s moves
The former COD United is one of the toughest strikers in the league. He could have scored more if not because of the self given holiday which made him absent for some league matches. his moves paid off when he nodded in from a close range to give Osun the lead. ‘Oyinbo’ is also expected to do the magic in the return leg in Ijebu Ode.
5. Flying Fatokun
The former Grays FC gatecrashed into the team before Duke Udi left and has since cemented his spot as a regular midfielder. Fatokun’s combination with Yusuf and Olatunji among others was clinical in the match.
6. Crowd Factor
Spectators have a lot of impact in a game as they supply the needed morale particularly when the chips are down. The over 7,000 spectators who were in the stadium to cheer the team up showed that Osun people are behind Osun United.
7. The Media Factor
The crowd could not have been so massive without the publicity of the match by OSBC, Rave F.M, Uniq F.M, Orisun F.M and NTA. They report activities of the team on daily basis with unbiased analysis on OSBC AM Sports by Seun Omolola and Kazeem Raji Gattuso, anchored by Tajudeen Ahmad.
This is why it is important that all journalists covering the game should be recognised and appreciated.
8. The Second Leg
In 2012, I was among the multitude of Osun indigenes who followed the team to Ilorin in a semi final match against Heartland. The crowd was massive as many even travelled by train to support Prime FC in the penalty shootout loss to Heartland. The current recession may not make some people raise money for the journey but it will be very good if the state government can provide means of transportation for Osun United fans and supporters to cheer the team to another victory in Dipo Dina Stadium, Ijebu Ode on Saturday.
10. ‘Dude’ Udi
Traditionally, coaches are professionals who should address the journalists no matter the outcome of the match. Udi is a good coach as he did his best while in charge of Osun United. He also added to his kitty for brighten the Sun of his current team , taking them out of the relegation water. I respect Udi cos he broke a record of 3 away wins for Sunshine even though he joined them when things fell apart.
However, Udi reduced his credibility to the ground when he said he took Osun United from the scratch and he shot himself on the leg for turning down media interview.
Tajudeen is Media Officer of Osun United