Real Sapphire 1 - 1 Imperial FC
30th January, 2023
Imperial Stuck in Third After Being Held by Real Sapphire
After back-to-back losses to Beyond Limits, Imperial dropped points yet again, this time to Real Sapphire.
Despite being the visitors, they finely started the game. As early as the 12th minute, they created their first big chance. Joel Ashuku however squandered it, to keep proceedings level. Four minutes from time, it was Joshua Ibrahim’s turn to test the Imperial defense. His shot was however blocked off for a corner kick.
The hosts would go on to score the game’s first goal through Gift Udoh. The ball fell kindly to the left-back after a corner-kick. His fierce shot found the roof of the net as Real Sapphire drew first blood in the 30th minute to the delight of their manager, Daniel Jarkanovic.
Imperial waited until the second half to turn up the heat. While Real Sapphire were fluffing their lines up front, the visitors were busy poking holes in the hosts’ set-up. By the 70th minute, they found the equalizer through Chidera Ezeno. The winger beat the offside trap to tap in a cross from the left, setting up a nervy last 20 minutes of the game.
Both teams failed to get a second of the game and were forced to share the spoils.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Abidemi Olalekan (Real Sapphire)
The midfielder’s eye for key passes put his teammates in good scoring positions. His strength minimized the threat from the opposition in the middle of the park.