TCC Season Review - Imperial FC
After enduring a torrid campaign in their first TCC League season, Imperial had one aim, to do better in the second season.
Part of the first eight teams in the maiden The Creative Championship season, Imperial were the whooping boys. Not only did they finish bottom of the table, they could only manage one win and six points.
That was the tale of their first season, a tale to forget. And the best way to forget was to do their talking on the field of play, first with the TCC Cup.
In the maiden season of the cup, Imperial failed to win a single game. Paired in Group A alongside Atlantic Business, Iganmu, BroadCity and Gbagada, Imperial got off to a false start, as they lost to Gbagada by a 1-3 scoreline. Their first-ever TCC Cup win would however come in their second game of the cup campaign.
Up against Iganmu, Ezekiel Samuel and Ayomide Atorose were on hand to give Imperial an early two-goal lead. And although they let one in in the 93rd minute, Coach Adedeji Ayeoba registered his first TCC Cup win as manager of the side. One win was quickly followed by another, albeit in a dramatic fashion.
Imperial faced top-of-the-table Broad City, a side that had won its two opening games of the season, scoring five goals in the process. That however didn’t faze them as they made their intentions known as quickly as possible, scoring three goals in the first 17 minutes of the game. Ezekiel Samuel was once again on hand to rattle the onion bag as Imperial started the game like a house on fire.
What started as a half they controlled ended with them conceding two goals and the game ending in a seven-goal thriller. After the game, Coach Adedeji was quoted as saying, “It was a tough game… I appreciate the boys for putting out a high spirit. The opponents gave it to us and we gave it back to them.”
The win was the shot in the arm they needed as they defeated Atlantic Business in their fourth cup game of the season. By so doing, they qualified for the semi-finals, finishing in first place. Their journey to the cup final was however cut short by Beyond Limits.
In their first league game of the season, Coach Adedeji Ayeoba’s boys scored two goals in the first 20 minutes of the game. But they couldn’t hold on for a win as Broad City, scored three goals to hand the away side a first loss of the season.
Their second game of the season featured a home game against Emmydinho. As usual, Imperial scored two first-half goals, one apiece by Ezekiel Samuel and Ezeno Chidera. Unlike in the first game, they held on this time for their first win of the season. It was also their first clean sheet of the campaign.
Matchweek 3 came and saw Imperial register their first away win of the season, a 2-0 win over Valiant. Against Dino on MatchDay 4 however, they couldn’t keep the winning run as they lost again. The loss spurred Coach Adedeji’s side to manage a run of two wins on the bounce – against Gbagada (A), and Dannaz (H).
Once again, their winning run was halted, this time by Beyond Limits, losing by a 2-1 margin for a second time in the season. In the usual manner, they bounced back again, putting five past Iganmu in one of their most dominant displays of the season. This was followed by their first goalless draw of the season (against Atlantic Business), a win against the same opponent in the reverse fixture, and another draw, this time against Iganmu.
Their topsy-turvy season continued with yet another loss to Beyond Limits, followed by a win against Dannaz, a 2-2 draw against Gbagada and yet another loss to Dino on Matchweek 15. Not satisfied with their run towards the end of the season, Imperial turned up the heat as they looked to finish in the top half of the table. They scored five against Dannaz but lost to Broad City again. Despite ending the season with a loss, Imperial managed to make it into a Top Four spot.
Standout Performer – Bilyaminu Abdullahi
The central midfielder played a pivotal role in ensuring that his side finished in the top four. With a Kindex rating of 91 and 10 goals scored, he was easily one of the standout players of the season. Having proved himself throughout the season, he was nominated into the TCC Team of the Season.