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THE NOVELTY MATCH

30 Jan

The traditional curtain raiser in the sports calendar of the faculty of law between the faculty team and the year 1(freshers) and an opportunity for the sports secretary to impress. This match took place on Friday 22nd January 2016. The Result from last year was 2:1 in favor of the faculty team.
The lineups for both team were Faculty team: Bishop,Deola, Segun,Macho, Aloma, Ore,ID, Yemi Adebo, Russell, Seyi Law, Jide. Substitutes: Ivan, Samba, Kay, Varlo, Cabo, Dormo. Coach: Quasim
The Lineup for the freshers: Ugbah, Apilaka Peace, Damola, Nelson, Khalil, Omio, Semilore, Adrian, Daniel, Efe, Ayo. Substitutes: N/A  Coach: N/A

The referee started this match at exactly 3:22pm under the hot scorching sun inside the main pitch of unilag sports centre.
This was a match that promised a lot of goals based on the formation both teams came out with…a 3:5:2 formation. The faculty were sporting black jerseys with the former Lss president theme inscribed on it while the year 1 team wore all sorts of color with some of them not even putting on soccer boots, to show you how much this match was hastily organized.
The freshers won the toss of coin to decide who would kickoff, they passed the ball playing from right to left and the faculty team playing from left to right. As expected, the faculty team dominated possession in the first few minutes of the match, the first real action at goal occurred when the freshers conceded a corner which was to be taken by Aloma, but it was so poor from such an experienced member of the team.
Most of the attacks of the faculty team in the first half came through the left flank where Seyi law tormented the defenders of the freshers team time without number with his surperb dribbling skill. The goalkeeper of the freshers team was forced into some smart saves by the lively Jide.
The match was looking the opposite of what we expected due to lack of goals in the opening 15 minutes. The freshers team was clearly a team sent out to play on the counter as they were camped inside their own half and broke with speed on the counter.
The match sparked into life in the 22nd minute when against the run of play and after some nice interchange of passes between the players of the freshers, their striker Ayo was left with the goal at his mercy, he neatly swept aside Deola and Segun with a nice ‘snake bite’ in a clean swoop and calmly slotted the ball beyond Bishop in goal.
Now we had a match on our hands, Quasim sensing danger made some substations  sending  on Varlo in place of Yemi Adebo, Samba in place of Segun while Kay came on for Ore, and within the twinkle of an eye, a delightful cross by Seyi Law left the defense of the freshers exposed who until now had being exhibiting their youthful exuberance with their relentless running and dogged defending, Jide rose high to plant a thumping header into the net of the freshers, 1-1 game on!
Both teams continued to attack each other’s goal all in an effort to take the lead heading into halftime. A mazy run by the tireless Id almost resulted in a goal for the faculty team. The first half ended and the players trudged off the pitch. The players would have been expecting some lucozade sport after an energetic display by both sets of players but they got the usual😩.
The second half was restarted by the faculty team attacking from right to left and the freshers in the opposite direction . I witnessed a change of formation by the faculty team switching to a more comfortable 4:3:3 formation, which saw Macho unleashed down the left wing in his usual left back position, I call him the ‘David Alaba’ of the faculty of law. Ivan replaced Bishop in goal with Dormo coming on for Russell.
This half promised a lot of goals following what we witnessed in the first half. Predictably I noticed a drop of shoulder by the freshers team as they started to tire out. The first 10 minutes of this half was hell for the freshers team as the faculty were showing no mercy in a bid to avoid an upset. A few shots swung the freshers’ team goalkeeper into action with some outstanding saves, this guy is a real talent.
There should have been a second goal as there was a scramble in the box 18 of the freshers but Samba sent the final effort flying over the crossbar. Macho was threatening with his usual lung-bursting runs down the right wing of the opponent and got his reward when a cross-cum-shot found its way onto the net, Goal ball!!! A goal I am sure he didn’t mean but his celebrations suggested otherwise. After that goal, the freshers had a bit of possession but any attempt to attack was broken down by the midfield pivot of Varlo and ID.
Samba got into the bad books of referee Kerlos when he collected a needless yellow card after a bad tackle.In a game I witnessed a flurry of changes with players who had been earlier substituted coming back into the game. Cabo was introduced to the delight of his fans.
The next goalmouth action fell to Russell who had entered the fray again was brought down by around 30 yards from goal and Kay the ‘Okocha’ of Class of 18′ stood over the free kick I was expecting a goal based on his expertise on a dead ball situation, a few steps and he shot the ball with masterful precision but it narrowly went over the bar.
Kay was getting into the thick of the action and floated a sweet through ball to Dormo at the near post who inexplicably sent the ball with his head into the tartan tracks, what a miss!!! One would have thought that the next opportunity that fell to Dormo would have been converted into a goal, but it was not to be after Russell took out two defenders with a ‘Russian roulette’ and unselfishly teed up Dormo, but his first touch let him down and the chance was wasted. Samba almost got himself sent off with a crunching tackle but was lucky this was just a friendly.
We saw a couple of nutmegs (kolo) and some airballs( Lago in local parlance) which added some humor to this match 😂. While all this action was happening Ivan was taking a nap in goal, too easy 😄.

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Jide threatened when he missed a bicycle kick and the ball found its way to Varlo who unleashed his trademark shot which the keeper parried away for a corner which was taken and came to nought.
Everyone on the faculty team was trying to get a goal for himself, then out of the blues Cabo took a shot that curled its way into the top corner, what a goal!!! Some R2 stuff there, he celebrated as if he had won the World Cup, 3:1 in favor of the faculty team.
In a  ‘free for all’ last minutes, faculty team got a corner which Cabo ran over to take, Quasim had earlier said that Cabo was the ‘best crosser in the faculty’ 😒 and everyone on the touch line leaned in to see his corner but I guessed the pressure got to him as the corner was the opposite of what Quasim had said.
The referee had enough and blew the final whistle..phew 😓 in what was an entertaining match.
                                     MATCH STATISTICS AND RATINGS
Faculty team Stats Freshers team
3 Goals 1
70% Possession 30%
8 Shots 3
5 Shots on target 1
3 Fouls 2
3 Corners 0
1 Yellow cards 0
0 Red cards 0
2 Free kicks 3
0 Penalties 0
1 Saves 5
4 Goal kicks 8
0 Offsides 1

                                         MATCH RATINGS
FACULTY TEAM
Bishop: Had very little to do due to the dominance of the faculty team, but he could have organized his shaky defense better in the build up to the goal he conceded (5/10).
Deola: It was a surprise seeing Deola playing based on the fact that he was a coach at the Lss games last year, had a decent game in an unusual three man defense  (5/10).
Segun: He had a real difficult game as he could cope with the pace of year 1 strikers, had a hand in the goal conceded  (4.5/10).
Macho: Started the match as centre back which restricted his attacking runs, but let off the leash as soon he moved to his favored left back role and was rewarded with a goal. (6/10).
Aloma: Not up to his usual standards, and his corner kicks were poor  (5/10).
Ore: Almost ran himself in the ground, but unable to find the back of the net (5.5/10)
ID: Put in a tireless performance as usual, almost got a goal (6/10).
Yemi Adebo: A bit jittery in the first few minutes probably due to lack of match fitness.But got into the game after moving to the defense and marshaled the defense well  (6.5/10).
Russell: At his usual best with some showboating, could have gotten an assist (6/10).
Seyi Law: Not at his usual best but managed to get an assist before he was substituted (6/10).
Jide: Arguably the best striker in the faculty, scored a thumping header could have gotten more goals for himself with his missed bicycle  kick (7.5/10).
SUBSTITUTES
Ivan: He was a spectator all through the second half even had time to take a nap.marshalled his defense with his superb communication skills (6/10)
Samba: He came on in the first half, was relatively decent collected a needless yellow card and could have been sent off (5/10).
Kay: He came on and showed why he is arguably the best playmaker in the faculty, almost scored a free kick and should have gotten an assist (6/10).
Varlo: He came as soon as faculty team conceded and stabilized the midfield. He reminded us of his ‘Rory Delap’ like throws  (5.5/10).
Cabo: He scored a curler of a goal. That’s how someone said he is the best crosser in the faculty…na so!  (6/10).
Dormo: Missed a sitter and his first touch let him down, his finishing was so bad that Tobolos almost entered into the pitch with his shirt and pants to replace him (4.5/10).
Coach Quasim : Nice one with the change of tactics (6.5//10).
YEAR ONE RATINGS
All players were decent  considering they were all making their debuts and against such a talented opponent. Of worthy mentions are the goalkeeper made a couple of fine saves, and also Ayo the goalscorer who remained calm to score the first goal.

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image 2 Tochukwu Anosike is a member of the law class of “18, who loves and follows sports. If he were not studying law, he may have been playing for his favorite club, Crystal Palace :). You can connect with him on Instagram @carlsyke.

 

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