The Anambra Warriors' made 6 changes to the side that defeated Enyimba Int'L at Nnewi last Sunday. Goalkeeper Uche Okafor and Cyril Edum came in for cup-tied Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Ibrahim Akide, Tamen Medrano who missed the last game against Enyimba due to an accumulation of cards got the nod as well as Seka Pascal who missed out due to an injury. Omodu Precious and Ossy Eugene equally made the cut.
The nerve-racking encounter had it first real chance in the 7th minute when Alberico's free kick from 23 yards out went inches over the crossbar after Ossy Eugene was fouled close to the opponent's box. Crown FC, however was the team who took the lead in the 16th minute after Peter Michael finished off with a shot inside the area after the good works of Gbemi Emmanuel and Ademola Ayoola exchanges close to the Anambra Warriors' box.
FC IfeanyiUbah restored parity via Elu Wilson's screamer from 30 yards out after a quick counter-attacking move. Just before the break Omodu Precious who struggled with a knock sustained earlier on made way for Bright Onyedikachi in the 41st minute of the game.
The second half commenced with the Anambra Warriors effecting another change nine minutes into the half as lethargic Ossy Eugene departed for Okereke Maduabuchi. In the 61st minute, Substitute Okereke read a back pass from Ekene Obi to Lasisi Saheed who controlled the ball but was unaware of the Warriors' attacker's closeness. His mistimed clearance resulted in a kick on the shin of Okereke who went down in pains with the referee signalling for a spot kick. Tamen Medrano was on hand to dispatch to give FC IfeanyiUbah the well-deserved lead.
The Warriors' had plethora of chances to kill off the game but were guilty of poor finishing and ill luck as Okereke and Seka Pascal missed a host of chances.
The game took a dramatic turn in the 87th minute as Crown FC Officials attacked the referee for disallowing a goal that was rightly chalked off for an infringement on an FC Ifeanyi Ubah player. This was followed by invasion of the pitch by irate fans of Crown FC who resolved to disrupt the match. The invasion resulted in the game being brought to an end as Crown FC players walked out of the field of play after the melodrama thereby leaving the referee with no choice but to call time on the game.
Reacting to the result, Coach Rafael Everton said he is delighted with the win from the pulsating encounter.
''I thank God for giving us this win today, now we have secured our passage to the finals of the Federation cup, we will now shift our focus to the last game of the league season against MFM which should give us a continental ticket if we win. Its being a remarkable season not only based on the way we played but having to see an Anambra Clup in the finals of the Federation Cup, kudos to my players, technical team and the management. I wish to also thank our fans for their prayers and support so far,'' Everton Said.Re-echoing the Coach's sentiment, Skipper Wilson Elu said the win is a clear indication that they play as a unit.
''i'm very delighted that we have got a well-deserved win today which follows the win against Enyimba FC, we will get to Lagos and by the grace of God, we will get all the 3 points against MFM. We have just two matches left and all I can say is that we will put in our best to ensure we emerge victorious. I call on the fans to put us in their prayers and also give us the needed support in the remaining two matches left for this season and we promise that we won't disappoint them,'' Elu posited.Reacting also Vice Chairman of Anambra FA, Barr. J.B.C Obikwelu said the win couldn't have come at a better time as the Anambra Warriors set out with a mission to make history.
''First, I commend the opponents Crown FC for their exploits today. Recall that Crown FC eliminated Rangers and Wikki Tourists earlier before this so the game against them was no doubt going to be tough. However, FC IfeanyiUbah have defined as well as redefined football in a very big way in the state, thanks to the Chairman of Anambra FA and Proprietor of the club Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah for making this project a reality. We hope for a win against MFM on Sunday to seal a continental place which will put FC IfeanyiUbah on the map of Africa. Anambra is where football lives and football is surely made in Anambra,'' said Barr. Obikwelu.Team Manager, Chidi Nwogu said the win today was as a result of hardwork, commitment and staying focused. He urged the players to finish off the season in style by winning the remaining two matches left of the season.
In the word of defender Adeleye Olamilekan, he said the win is dedicated to the fans for their immense support so far. He, however, promised that they will get the win in their remaining two matches left of the season.
FC IfeanyiUbah will now await in the finals the winner of the Enyimba vs Nasarawa Utd clash holding on the 9th of October, 2016.
More photos below..