Warri Wolves scored thrice in the second half to hammer visiting Katsina United 3-0 in a MatchDay 4 encounter decided at the Delta State Polytechnic Stadium,Ozoro.
Both teams huffed and puffed during a scrappy first half with their players taking aimless long range shots but things changed early in the second half after Wolves head coach Evans Ogenyi made a tactical adjustment from his 4-4-2 formation to a 4-3-3.
Ogenyi replaced winger John-Paul Chinedu with midfielder Oghenetega Ebetomame in the 52nd minute and that changed the complexion of the game with the first goal arriving just six minutes later.
Former Abia Warriors midfielder Daniel Mark, who has now moved behind the lone striker Uche Ihuarulam collected a pass from Daniel Agwaza and hit a sweet volley on the turn from 20 yards which wrong-footed Katsina United goalkeeper Daouda Kassaly through the aid of a wicked deflection.
Substitute Ebetomame then scored the second goal from close range in the 74th minute after the stretched Katsina defence failed to clear Efe Yarhere’s snapshot inside the box with the former Abia Warriors midfielder’s effort beating two Katsina players on the goal line.
Wolves went out of their opponents’ sight seven minutes later through Uche Ihuarulam’s second goal in as many home games this season. The experienced striker was at the right place and at the right time to tuck home Wisdom Jumbo’s free kick which had been tipped onto the cross bar by Kassaly.
Ogenyi, in a chat with www.npfl.ng after the match was glad his team took their chances well.
“I am grateful that we took the chances that came our way. You know we were just coming from a game we lost 3-0 and I spoke to the boys that we had to put that bad one behind us and up our game so I am grateful for that,” began Ogenyi.
“Our opponents came out with a dour defensive tactics. You can see they played with three centre backs and attempted to soak the pressure and play on the counter.
“My boys were a little bit anxious in the first half and I knew we needed to play the ball on the ground and play our game then we reversed from our 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 and that changed it for us,” he said.
Warri Wolves have contrasting fortunes from home and away games this term. They have lost both matches on the road but have now won their two matches played at their new home in Ozoro without conceding any goal.
Ogenyi says they will be hoping to change that sequence on Sunday when they travel to Sunshine Stars.
“The expectation of every soldier going to war is to win. We want to take every game as they come because it is a marathon league. If we had converted our penalty in our last away game, the result could have been different.
“We have to take every match with every sense of seriousness and see what happens and I am appreciative of the level of officiating now that it is what you play that you will get so we will approach every game with seriousness,” said Ogenyi.
35. Richard Ocheayi 2. Wisdom Jumbo
28. Daniel Agwaza 14. Jimmy Iteji 34. Goodluck Onamado 18. Innocent Orukpe
10. Daniel Mark 16. Uche Ihuarulam (Elijah Ani 89′) 7. Sunday Williams (Moshood Kasali 90′) 8. John-Paul Chinedu (Tega Ebetomame 52′)
19. Efe Yarhere (Ufuoma Ajamikoko 78′)
40. Bulus Pwadadi 29. Gyankwa Torkuma 12. Michael Okoyoh
BOOKED: Daniel Mark 62′
GOALS: Daniel Mark 58′ Tega Ebetomame 74′ Uche Ihuarulam 81′
21. Daouda Kassaly 26. Sanusi Abdulmutallif (Peter Ubakanma 80′) 31. Faisal Sani 4. Usman Barau 5. Habib Yakubu 6. Suley Muhamodou 25. Joseph Atule (Suleiman Ibrahim (80′) 10. Abdulkareem Ahmed (Abubakar Abdullahi 74′) 20. Rasheed Ahmed 24. Nafiu Ibrahim 19. Boubacar Massaly (Samuel Kalu 72′)
1. Yusuf Mohammad Bala (GK) 33. Ogar Ajima (GK) 23. Isaac Giwa 15. Adekunle Adeniyi 28. Umar Musa Laduwa
BOOKED: Boubacar Massaly 51′ Sulley Muhamodou 79′