By Sab Osuji in Ibadan:
Seun Akinyemi headed the ball on the dot of three minutes into the stoppage time, but the ball hit the crossbar and bounced across the goaline before the People’s Elephant cleared their line.
That was the moment that enraged the unprecedented full capacity crowd who agitated the home side was hard done by the match officials, especially the first assistant referee who should have picked the ball went across the line.
Before that moment, Shooting Stars had had a field day laying siege in the Enyimba teritory in the second period in search of a possible winner.
That moment of magic never came as the home side took time in coming to the party. Enyimba dominated the first period with delightful and delicate touches to the dismay of the home fans.
Of particular note is Christian Obiozor, who led the six time champions attacking line. His height, frame, skill and speed were constant worry and concern to the 3SC backline who found it tough getting the ex-Rangers and Kano Pillars marksman quietly under lock and key.
On more than several ocassions, Obiozor would drag his supposedly markers to the wrong side but lame finishing by Bernard Okorowanta and Chinonso Okonkwo ensured the scoresheet did not alter going into the break.
The second period got underway in a high profile tempo after 3SC manager, Gbenga Ogunbote altered his 4-3-3-1 formation to 4-4-2. Balls were time and again pumped into the Enyimba zone which proved easy and convenient for the taller Enyimba defenders to deal with.
Najeem Olukokun had the best opportunity of the evening in the 58th minute when Enyimba goalkeeper, Chijioke Ejiogu could not deal properly with a cross resulting from a corner kick but Olukokun, face to face with an empty net right inside the five yard planted his header wide of post.
Amidst the feelings of hard done amongst the home fans lies a feeling of happiness in terms ofthe rapid improvement Gbenga Ogunbote has brought into the team.