On April 20, the Stallions FC proved it is in top shape by winning 3-2 in a demanding friendly match against MAUTECH FC.
It was an entertaining clash at the GTBank field on the main campus. The Stallions were 1-0 up after just five minutes when Captain Hassan Abbas, whose first shot on goal hit the post, smashed a left-footed Ahmed Amadi ball from the right past goalkeeper Yohanna John and into the back of the net. The hosts’ lead did not last long however, just for seven minutes, before a deflected shot found Dan Fulani and his powerful shot was too strong for goalkeeper Mustapha to keep out. Just before the stroke of halftime, attacker Endorz Chibuzor headed the hosts back in front. He displayed his aerial prowess, rising above everyone in the box to meet a deep Abbas corner kick.
The pattern of the first half continued into the early stages of the second with MAUTECH pressing but the Stallions FC looking dangerous when in possession. It wasn’t long before the Stallions re-established a two-goal cushion, substitute Hassan Lawal finishing expertly from a tight angle to make it 3-1 after Abbas’ curling free kick was parried to his path.
MAUTECH FC was reduced to 10 men in the 75th minute; defender Adam Ala received a red card for insulting the referee and the linesman. The teammates did not let the red card demoralize them. Instead, they contributed brilliantly to the game, pouring forward in their numbers to stage a comeback. Their attacking philosophy paid off 10 minutes from time and in the process produced, arguably, the highlight of the game when goalkeeper Yohana John hit an audacious and well executed volley from the edge of the box after his initial free kick cannoned off the wall.
However, that proved the end of the second-half goal rush, and the Stallions eventually ran out comfortable winners despite MAUTECH’s spirited effort at a reversal of its fortunes.
By Chisom Madu