Defending champions yesterday defeated Skillz FC on one of the semi-final matches played at the University Mainbowl stadium of the ongoing Unilorin League.
Skillz FC was completely a shadow of themselves at the start of the match. Skillz having made it through to the semi-final stage of the league in second place at the expense of Jad FC who missed out.
Skillz Fc was expected to give H-High a run for their money coming to this tie, but an overall poor start extended to their Goalkeeping department which eventually reflected on the scoreboard immediately.
Durotoye Suleiman punished “Perfect’ in goal for Skillz Fc with a goal that takes absolutely no sweat from the H-High forward with a simple tap in to establish a deserved lead for the away side
Perfect after a horrible mistake was left with his face I just hand as he had let Durotoye Suleiman get closer to him after receiving a back pass from his Defender but he, however, failed to clear his line on time before Suleiman closes down on him so quickly to take the ball away from him and slot home to an empty net.
Skillz FC however reacted immediately attempting but unable to equalizes as the half time break came so soon with H-High FC leading by 1-0.
Skillz Fc came alive in the second half and had a goal to their name to draw level in the 53rd minutes as Emanuel Tobi (A.k) was well well-positioned at the bottom after receiving a cross into the six-yard box from a very lovely one-two display.
H-High FC couldn’t withstand the pressure from their host and was hoping for a miracle In form of Penalty as their midfield became less functioning.
In one of the very few attacks launched in the H-High FC was awarded a penalty after Prefect had discontinued the progress of Ogugbenro Mustapha while receiving a marvellous cross from Suleiman in Seventy-third minutes as the former stepped up to score to re-establish 2-1 lead for the visitors.
speaking after the match, Coach Moshood Abiola of H-High believes he could have won by at least 3 goals to 1 if this tie had not been a semi-final match
“They too (Skillz Fc) come out with the full force to play against us, and if you study the game, they really tried (their best)”
“There’s a little bit of officiating against my team, had that not being the case, we could have won the match by -1 but , to rate the match, it was a balanced display between the two sides.
On Chances of being crown Champions again being the defending Champions?
“Actually, to win, we need full commitment, the stage we are now, all of them (teams in last four) are really committed , so with the turn out of my players, I believe and optimistic that we are going to be the champions.”
When asked why the un-usual conceeding of goals by his team (3 in two matches)?
‘It is the lack of concentration from the defenders , In fact in the last match, within 30 seconds we have conceded a goal, but now, once they understand themselves i believe there won’t be much space for opponent to score against us”
“I want match officials especially the center referee to be more conscious of to close happenings on the field, for instance when our captain made peacefully and to our surprise the referee (Tajudeen Bako) issue him a yellow card.”
He question why team captains who has the right to approach the referee, on some decisions taken be shown cards for doing just that?
Coach Moshood Abiola said aside the unjustified issuing of yellow cards to his players, he also said there were scenerios where number of penalties called were waved over
“It is irritating , but since I don’t have nothing to do , because the referees decision is the final”
“All the players did play well, but if I’m to decide who wins man of the match , it has to be Ayinde Taiye who always keep linking up the play as a Midfielder to our strikers”
Meanwhile Skillz FC Head Coach, Abidoye Oluwatosin Shadrack in a post match interview feels a “draw” would have been a fair results between the two sides.
I believe we were going to qualify because big teams always find a way around (to go through).
Asked if he had seen City Boyz qualifying ahead of Jad FC?
Skillz Said “hmmmm well, I think I was too focus on my own team and cared less about any other team, so I don’t really put an assessment on that”
Though describing them as a “decent side” having played them twice before reaching the semi final stages, “they played well”
Coach Skillz felt it wasn’t a deserved win for H-High FC despite a 2-1 scoreline.
“It’s not in any way, because we played the game, they got the goal, aside that the penalty to me, (it’s) a bit questionable because I feel the attacker (Zico of H-High FC) loss the ball even before the contact (with our goalkeeper), so I feel the centre referees should sometimes consult their assistance.”
When asked what could have been a fair scoreline between the two sides he said “a draw would have been fair results”
despite that Skillz argued that the intention was not to hold H-High Fc to a draw.
“No no no, I’m too brave to come to a game looking for a draw”, We came here to win actually”
“We will play our simple game as we always do, put in our a good fighting spirit, I’m sure we will scale through” Definitely we are coming to win the return leg.
Blazing Stars were reduced to ten men as Akeem was shown Red at the hour mark after twice being a recipient of two yellow cards but we’re still able to defeat City boyz Fc by a lone goal, all thanks to Jasper’s 58 minutes goal, in the other semi-final match
With the away goal coming into play as an advantage, H-High FC and Blazing Stars FC have an edge going into the return leg which is coming up on Saturday (24th of April 2021) and a better chance of qualifications to finals having won the first leg, with Skillz Fc and City Boyz Fc facing a hill mountain climb task to do, but it remains to be seen despite the wins recorded, as it looks even more interesting and unpredictable for spectators who had a full view of the two first-leg ties.