“We lost due to tactical indiscipline and it is a mistake that can be corrected. And I’m not ashamed to say this but I love the way we lost because we had been winning and complacency began to set in. Now that we have been beaten, it’ll wake them up from their slumber.” – Alabi Kazeem, Bravos Knights’ Head Coach,
In a rematch of last season’s Mainland Conference final, Raineri grabbed a much needed win over Bravos Knights; a win dedicated to manager, Seth Abayomi who was celebrating his birthday as well as the club’s leading scorer, Olisemeka Esumeh whose wife had delivered a baby boy two days earlier. It was Raineri’s 2nd consecutive win over Bravos Knights & their first against them in a regular season (following two losses to them last season). For Bravos, they dropped to second place in a three-way tie with Raineri & Guns but still remained heavy favorites to top the conference.
The game itself wasn’t exactly pleasing to the eye with the ball spending more time in the air than most kites do. Long balls from either sides dominated the game from start to finish in what looked like a contest to win Sam Allardyce’s heart & in the end, 2 utilized long balls into Bravos’ penalty box won the game for Raineri. First, new dad, Olisemeka latched on to Osakwe Emmanuel’s 60-yard pass, beating both Bravos’ center-backs for strength before lobbing it over a helpless Johnson. Kelechi Nwafor grabbed the second for Raineri in the second half when the Bravos center-backs again failed to deal with a long ball into the box allowing Kelechi all the time in the world to pick his spot. 2-0 to Raineri Ghost.
Raineri Ghosts FC 2-0 Bravos Knights FC
Bravos had a goal chalked off for offside right before Kelechi’s nail in the coffin and would feel robbed but, collectively, they didn’t do enough to get anything out of the game. Bravos Knights’ Head Coach, Alabi Kazeem provided some insight after the game which should inspire confidence in his men. One of the most refreshing things about The 2018 SociaLiga season has been the sound tactically analysis of the game he has provided. On this occasion, he preferred to see the bright side in the defeat. In his words, “we lost due to tactical indiscipline and it is a mistake that can be corrected. And I’m not ashamed to say this but I love the way we lost because we had been winning and complacency began to set in. Now that we have been beaten, it’ll wake them up from their slumber”. He did predict Raineri would play lots of long balls before the game and Raineri did play a lot of that. He blamed a little lapse in concentration by his center-backs for both goals: “I was telling them that ‘this (Ranieri) is a team that cannot keep the ball on the ground. All they do is launch the ball upfront so they’ll rest on you as a central-defender. I just want one of you to pick their striker while you (the other) pick up the loose ball.’ And as you can see, the two of them went for the same ball & they lost it and that’s how both goals came.”
It wasn’t the prettiest of games but it was enough for the Ghosts.