How Finidi George conjures a dream start to life at Enyimba FC

It was a dream start for Finidi George as he led Enyimba FC to an away victory against ASC Diambars of Senegal in his first game in charge of the Aba based team.

Finidi George (Getty Images)

The match which is one of the second round elimination series of the 2021/2022 CAF Confederations Cup match was played at the Stade Lat-Dior, in Thies on Saturday 16 October 2021 and ended with 1-0 in favour of Enyimba FC.

The victory takes a lot of pressure off Finidi George's shoulder as Enyimba is expected to finish the job in the return leg on Sunday 24 October 2021 at the Enyimba International stadium.

Finidi put out the traditional 4-4-2 formation, granting new signings Olorunleke Ojo and Super Eagles defender, Adekunle Adeleke their debut match for Enyimba.

Adeleke combined with Bilal Yakubu, Somiari Alalibi and Emmanuel Appiah to form a formidable line of defence in front of the Olorunleke in goal.

The quartet of Sadiq Abubakar, Fatai Abdullahi, Philip Ozor, Frank Esobe manned the midfield while Samuel Kalu and Victor Mbaoma led the people's Elephant attack.

While John Noble, Chigozie Obasi, Pascal Eze, Nabil Yarou, Cyril Olisema, Orok Gabriel and Emeka Obioma find their place on the reserve bench.

The host took the game to the Enyimba with a quick exchange of passes through the midfield but the Aba Elephants held their own and gradually put down their feet in the game after surviving the early incursions from the fleet-footed Diambars FC players.

Finidi Goerge was on his feet on the sideline, throughout the first half, reading the game and calmly giving instructions to the Enyimba players as their performance gets better while the game dragged to a goalless first half.

In the second half, Diambars came out smoking forcing Enyimba to defend in mass with the defenders putting up a wall of resistance to everything Diambars threw at them.

Ojo Olorunleke was up to the tasks, as he put on a good show with incredible saves from the attacking line of the Senegalese side led by Cheick Kamara.

Coach Finidi George made two tactical changes when he pulled off Bilal Yakubu, and Samuel Kalu and brought in Emeka Obasi and Cyril Olisema to put some stability in the midfield while changing the formation to 4-5-1 to put the attacking forays of the Saly based team at bay.

The coach was forced to replace Frank Esobe who was trending dangerously on a yellow card and replaced him with Emeka Obioma in the 63rd minutes while tiring Victor Mboama made way for Gabriel Orok.

Finidi double substitution paid off in the 86th minute when Gabriel Orok was brought down in the box, and Cyril Olisema made no mistake to send the goalkeeper, Francois Djiba the wrong way to give Enyimba the lead.

Diambars came all-out to restore parity in the few remaining minutes but all heeded no results.

The team was made to pay for their failure to covert many scoring chances that came their way, including eleven corner kicks as the match ended by one goal to nil at the end of the ninety minutes.

Ojo Olorunleke describes the winning start as a morale booster ahead of the second leg in Aba.

“Diambars are a very solid side and they gave us a good fight. This result is a morale booster for us and we hope to finish the work in Aba" Ojo told Goal.

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Olusola Adebayo is a highly-skilled, enthusiastic, self-motivated writer with over 10 successful years of experience.

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