Dino 2 - 1 Imperial FC
10th October, 2022
Cup Holders Get Season Off to a Roaring Start
Dino SC started their TCC League season with a win over Imperial at the Dip Dina International Stadium on Sunday.
The hosts, playing as the most recent holders of the TCC Cup, welcomed an Imperial team looking to get their season to a fine start.
The game started on a quiet note, with both sides cautiously. That first-game-of-the-season feeling was apparent as the players warmed up to the 2022/2023 TCC League season. All that coziness was however thrown out of the window as the visitors got the first goal of the game.
Ezeno Chidera was fouled inside the Imperial half. Igwe Favour stepped up to take the free-kick and sent it onto the path of Abdullahi Bilyaminu who had beaten Dino’s offside trap. He controlled the ball with a deft touch, and with only Gideon Ede to beat, Imperial FC’s highest goalscorer from last season lobbed the goalie to score the first goal of the game.
Left chasing the game, Coach Godwin Gibson’s side pressed for their own goal. And while the chances came, they just couldn’t convert. Imperial were also guilty of throwing away goal-scoring chances that meant they couldn’t increase their lead.
They’d be left to rue those chances however as Dino drew level in the 32nd minute.
After winning a foul in the opposition half, Hyacinth brushed himself up, sent the quick free-kick to the right flank. The resulting cross which caught the Imperial defenders napping, left Stanley Ogbonna plenty of space to run into. The winger headed the ball home from close range and restored parity for the hosts.
Both sides saw out the rest of the half with short passes, a few more fouls but nothing to show for in terms of goals.
The second half began like the first: players drawing fouls, both sides trying to out-pass the other. While chances were being created, the goals were not coming until Hyacinth Ogonna broke the deadlock in the 67th minute.
Attempts to ward off an aerial threat from Ogonna’s cross saw Imperial’s headed clearance fall to Isaac Ashiekan. The defensive midfielder sent the ball to the left flank before a cross from same flank found a free Hyacinth lurking at the far post. The winger who had posed a threat throughout the game was on hand to slot the ball home, past goalkeeper Atta Francis and despite the presence of a few defenders on the goal line.
Regardless of how hard they tried, Imperial failed to draw level, thereby handing Dino a first win of the season. For Coach Godwin, it’s an almost perfect start to the season. For Imperial, it’s back to the drawing board as Coach Adedeji Ayeoba tries to figure out how they threw their early lead away.
Hyacinth Ogonna 77’
Ologe Eric 42’
Adelakun Daniel 64’
MAN OF THE MATCH
Hyacinth Ogonna (Dino SC)
The winger had an impactful performance. He was the provider for the first goal before he grabbed the winner in the second half. He has picked up from where he left last season.