FC IfeanyiUbah walk tight rope, beat Egypt’s Masry 1-0
• Wikki beaten 0-2
FC Ifeanyiubah’s first foray into continental football began on a cagey note yesterday, with the ‘Anambra Warriors’ barely able to beat their Egyptian opponents, EL Masry, by a late lone goal.
Nigeria’s second entrant in the competition, Wikki Tourists fared worse in Freetown, losing 0-2 to the army-team, RSLAF.
While it was El Masry’s first continental game in over 15 years, yesterday’s game marked the entry of the team, formerly known as Gabros International, into the club of continental campaigners. But even with the team’s ‘innocence’ in continental matters, their supporters had high hopes of a resounding victory due to the presence of tested campaigners in the squad. Such high hopes nearly became a nightmare until Tamen Medrano struck in the 87th minute.
The former Tiko United of Cameroun star, who has also played for Sunshine Stars, received a pinpoint pass from Isaac Loute, outpaced the Masry defence before slotting home the goal that enlivened the Nnewi crowd. It was just what the game needed as FC IfeanyiUbah had before then bombarded the Egyptians’ goal, but found goalkeeper Ahmed Boska too good to beat.
The team from the Egyptian seaside city of Port Said, which qualified for the CAF Confederation Cup following their fourth place finish in the Egyptian Premier League last season, were happy at the end of the game. They openly talked of their ability to change the course of the tie at home.
However, FC IfeanyiUbah’s Coach, Yaw Preko, is not perturbed by the low score line. In fact, the Ghanaian believes his wards will still beat El Masry in Port Said next weekend.
According to Preko, “We are happy that we ended with a win, but I think we deserved to score more goals.
“I know that in the next leg they will come out because they must score to win and we have the team to outshoot them. Today’s result is good for us.”
El Masry, who are led by former Egypt striker Hossam Hassan, will host the return leg next Sunday.