Ex Udoji United vs Ex Nigeria Internationals novelty match ended in a draw….

The Ikem “Potential Ayaya” Udeh championed novelty football match between Ex Udoji United FC players and Ex Nigeria Internationals played at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium in Enugu on 30th July, 2016 ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw. The match was organized to raise funds for the families of fallen Udoji United heroes like Herbert “Alibosa” Anijekwu and Charles “Charlie Parker” Nduka. Enugu fans sure had fun as they were treated to great footballing skills of these players of yesteryears. The duo of former Super Eagles midfielders, Mutiu Adepoju and Baldwin Bazuaye were truly at home as their trickery and mastery of game was clearly evident during the novelty game. With the defensive duo of Austin Eguavoen and Emeka Ifejiagwa in the heart of the backline of Ex Internationals, Adepoju showed flashes of his old self as he dug deep to deliver an inch perfect, defence splitting pass to free Bazuaye who teased and tossed Emeka Nwobodo and Danlami Dickson before slotting past a stranded Cajethan Oparaugo in goal for Ex Udoji United to draw the Ex Internationals level after Ekene Ikenwa had shot the Ex-Udoji team into the lead.

The convener of the novelty match, Ikem Udeh, however, restored the lead for Ex Udoji when he dribbled his way past a sea of legs to find the back of the net beyond a diving Victor Oko while substitute, Napoleon Irozuru ensured that the game ended even as he latched onto a cross from Adepoju to score with virtually the last kick of the novelty match. Amongst the fans at the stadium to watch the game were Chief Oscar Udoji (Proprietor of the defunct Udoji United FC), Goddy Udoji, Richard Obienu, Nkem Owoh (Osuofia) and Agwo Nnaji (a renowned former goalkeeper).

Roll call of some former football stars that turned up for the game: Emma JJ Okocha, Kingsley “Merenge” Ogbodo, Arthur Madueme, Festus Agu, Donald Agum, Tony “Poropo” Emeodofu, Kingsley “Shagari” Obiekwu, Sunday Okulaja, Tony Iroegbu, Casmir Mbachu, Ikechukwu Nwaimo, Emeka Ofoje, Ignatius Okafor, Ekene “Cafu” Ikenwa, Baldwin Bazuaye, Austin “Cerezo” Eguavoen, Jude Agada, Mutiu “Headmaster” Adepoju, Ikem “Potential” Udeh, Onyinye Izunwa, Victor Oko, Cajethan Oparaugo, Emeka Ifejiagwa, Emeka Nwobodo, Dickson Danlami, Aniche Obiora, Tochukwu Ogbue, Ifeanyi Mazeli, Ikechukwu Ohaemesi, Napoleon Irozuru and Sunday Kalunga.

Festus Agu, in a chat, said after the match, “It was really thrilling getting these calibres of players to perform in respect of some of our departed colleagues. I commend the originator of this event and hope that this will open more avenues to immortalize fallen heroes.”  Chairman of the organising committee, Diewait Ikpechukwu said, “Ikem Udeh did well in coming up with this idea and I thank God it saw the light of the day. Hopefully, in future, it will be more elaborate. There is nothing like showing the families of dead colleagues that they are still loved by friends of their departed bread-winners.” Scorer of the first goal, Ekene Ikenwa said they are looking forward to another novelty match hopefully at a time  like the month of December when more former football stars who missed out during this game would be available

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