TCC Season Review - Gbagada FC
It was the second season for Gbagada in The Creative Championship (TCC).
In their first season, the Blue Eagles triumphed in the TCC Cup, lifting the trophy in the maiden season. Coach Akinyelu’s boys looked to go one better in the second season and finish as high as possible in the league. But first, they started their season with the defense of their TCC Cup.
Paired in Group B alongside Atlantic Business, Iganmu, Broad City and Imperial, Gbagada got off to a false start, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Atlantic Business. Sadiq Ali’s 80th-minute goal ensured that the Blue Eagles did not lose their first game of the season.
They would however bounce back in the second TCC Cup game of the season – against Imperial. Ademola Akibu, Solomon Eya and Joshua Blessing all got on the scoresheet as the Blue Eagles soared over their opponents.
While the victory was a welcome one, Gbagada were still leaky at the back, conceding in two consecutive games. Their clean sheet would finally come, in their 1-0 win over Iganmu in their third TCC Cup game of the season.
That would be the only clean sheet they’d go on to keep in the group stages of the TCC Cup as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Atlantic Business. Despite failing to win two of their group stage games, Gbagada qualified for the semi-finals, finishing in second place.
Their cup defense fell short in the semi-final as they lost to eventual champions Dino SC on penalties.
Coach Akinyelu couldn’t have asked for a better start to their league campaign. Gbagada took on Atlantic Business in their season opener. And Marvellous Adiele was on hand to score for the Blue Eagles, in the first minute of the game. The home team held on to their early lead, earning their first three points of the season. They were one of the four teams that managed to keep a clean sheet on MatchDay 1.
One win was quickly followed by another, this time another 1-0 win, but away to Dannaz. Two ‘1-0’ wins became three as Gbagada secured another slender win, the victory coming this time against Beyond Limits. The winning goal was scored by Balogun Wasiu in the 2nd minute of the game.
Three goals. Three wins. Three clean sheets. It was a dream start for Gbagada – until they suffered their first loss of the season, against Iganmu. This time, they were at the other end of the 1-0 margin, losing their first game of the season. Imperial dominated them in their next game, putting three unanswered goals past them.
Having suffered enough defeats, the Blue Eagles awoke from their slumber, registering three wins on the bounce – against Broad City, Emmydinho and Valiant. The Blue Eagles faltered again, this time losing to Dino on MatchDay 9. the reverse fixture, which marked the beginning of the second half of the season, featured a six-goal thriller.
After taking a 2-0 lead through goals from Semiu Fagbayi and Ademola Akibu, Gbagada conceded a goal in the 30th minute from the penalty spot while Hyacinth Ogonna was on hand to draw the game level just before half-time.
Dino leaped into the lead Ikechukwu Friday’s 63rd-minute goal, before Rilwan Gbadamosi’s 86th-minute goal stole a point for Gbagada. Gbagada went on to do the double over Valiant, Emmydinho and BroadCity. This winning run was followed by a 2-2 draw at Imperial and then a 3-2 win over Iganmu at home – a win that saw them enter into second place on the log standings.
On MatchDay 16, off to Ikenne they went, attempting to reduce the six-point gap between them and first-place Beyond Limits. It turned out to be an unsuccessful mission as they conceded three un-replied goals. This heavy loss was followed by a 3-4 loss to Dannaz, a game which saw six of the goals scored in the second half.
Semiu Fagbayi’s goal was not enough to get them a win in their last game of the season as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Atlantic Business.
Standout Performer – Balogun Wasiu
The midfielder played a pivotal role in ensuring that his side managed a third-place finish. With a Kindex rating of 81.45 (highest in his team) and 5 goals scored, he was easily one of the standout players of the season. The mercurial midfielder scored an excellent free-kick against Emmydinho to win the goal of the week for match week 7 and also contributed three assists during the season.
Having proved himself throughout the campaign, he was nominated into the TCC Team of the Season.