Completesportsnigeria.com's ADEBOYE AMOSU followed closely as the NPFL All-Stars played three matches against Spanish top flight clubs in Cadiz last weekend. He points out the major fallouts from the tour…
IKECHUKWU PROVED HIS CLASS
FC IfeanyiUbah goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa was at his best in the NPFL All-Stars' three games in the competition. He was particularly impressive in his side's 4-1 defeat against Malaga.
Such was his heroics in the tour that he is now linked with a move to Atletico Madrid and Cadiz.
ENYIMBA PLAYERS' MID-TOUR EXIT HURT TEAM
Five players from the Nigeria Professional Football League champions Enyimba – Chinedu Udoji, Dare Ojo, Joseph Osadiaye, Theophilus Afelokhai and Chima Akas – left the team to represent their club in the CAF Champions League fixture against Zamalek after the game against Valencia and their absence was felt in the subsequent games against Malaga and Atletico Madrid.
Four of the Enyimba players started the game against Valencia. Akas who captained the side was the only left-back the coaching crew took to Spain. Osadiaye was the side's best attacking threat in the game against Valencia and scored the only goal in the game.
Udoji was impressive alongside Jamiu Alimi in centre-back, while Ojo was a reliable force in midfield.
STRIKERS FAILED TO SHINE
The NPFL All-Stars recorded only three goals in the three games they played during the tour. That was certainly a disappointing return for a side that paraded league top scorer Godwin Obaje, Abdulrahmam Bashir who has scored seven goals in his last eight games for Nasarawa United, and Ismaila Gata who has netted 12 times for FC IfeanyiUbah this season.
PLAYERS SHOWED TOO MUCH RESPECT TO THEIR OPPONENTS
The players started slowly in all three games and never got going until they conceded. They conceded first in all three games.They were particularly jittery in the first game against Valencia where they struggled to hold on to the ball and spray passes together.
Though they improved in subsequent games, the gulf in gap between them and their opponents was so evident.
EXPERIENCE GOOD FOR FUTURE
This players will no doubt benefit from the tour.The experience of coming up against some of the best teams in the Spanish League will certainly rub off positively on them in future.