The opening game of MD4 was a balanced affair between two teams who failed to win their games at MD3. It did not take long for drama to ensue as Raineri manager, Seth Abayomi, was sent off for dissent after protesting a decision too enthusiastically. Both teams settled into a pattern of long balls to try to get ahead, ensuring that the half ended with too little goalmouth action and a 0-0 scoreline. Early in the second half, Saints finally took the lead when Tiki latched on to a chance and delivered a composed finish. Raineri threw on Bolu and Tomisin to try to salvage something but it was too little too late as Saints saw out the game, taking all three points.
Man of the Match : Clever (SaintsFC)
Many expected this game between Royals and All Black to be full of goals and it did not disappoint. From the first minute, there was already goalmouth action and drama. Early in the game, All Black won a penalty which their skipper, Scott, stepped up to take but it was brilliantly saved. Not long after, Royals goalie Uzo went from hero to villain as he was caught out by an audacious long ball from the middle of the pitch. Parity was soon restored as Royals right back Kaka headed in an equaliser from a free kick taken by Bolaji – his first touch after coming on as a first half sub. Former Fourmidable, Chizzy, soon gave Royals the lead with a thunderbolt in the box. Not long after, it was three. The goal was scored by Edgar, who delivered the assist for Chizzy’s goal. The second half saw a lot less goalmouth action as All Black desperately searched for a way back into the game. Eventually, they won a penalty which was converted by Nonso. Unfortunately for them, it was too little too late. 3-1 it ended.
Man of the Match : Edgar (Royals)
Citizens manager, Adedoyin Ajibike, returned to the touchline after his absence at MD3 to lead his boys against the Danny Nazzal-led Dannaz. Citizens, the only team in Bet9jaSociaLiga history to ever beat Dannaz, came into this game incentivized after their slim victory over Guns at MD3. They faced a Dannaz side that were notably missing star players Precious and Obakimi. That notwithstanding, the game sparked into life early on. Dannaz struggled to cope with the devastating pace of Citizens winger, Courage, who was menacing down the left side. Eventually, one of his runs led to a penalty as he was hacked down. Flamboyant midfielder, Shabba, stepped up to take it but it was brilliantly saved. Citizens eventually got their goal from a set piece as Jazz delivered an inch-perfect cross which Courage hit home on the volley. Dannaz responded by fashioning out more attacks but Citizens, led by the fourmidable Leroy, thwarted all their attacks. Eventually, the pressure paid off as Dannaz’s Adebayo scored a brilliant free-kick. Both sides missed chances to get the winner and it ended 1-1.
Man of the Match : Courage (Citizens)
This memorable top-of-the game clash will be remembered for being quite the spectacle. After a cagey first half which ended goalless, things got interesting as the rain came down in torrents. The waterlogged pitch did not hold the players back, however, as they adapted to the windy, wet conditions to give fans a truly entertaining game. Saints took the lead through a goalmouth scramble, a goal that Cubs goalkeeper Barthez could do nothing about after making a string of impressive saves. Star striker and Fourmidable Clanzee, was a constant threat as Cubs frantically searched for an equaliser. Eventually, they were handed a lifeline when Saints conceded a late penalty after some clumsy play aided by the waterlogged pitch. Barthez stepped up to hand his side the much-needed equaliser, before Saints defender Wale grabbed a second yellow card and was sent off just before the final whistle. Barthez now has two goals this season – he also scored a penalty against Guns at MD2.
Man of the Match : Barthez (Cubs)
Guns and Alimosho lined up a week after their game was scheduled to happen, due to the storm that had made the pitch impossible to use. Alimosho came into the game eager to get going and they soon missed two gilt-edged opportunities to take the lead, as Guns goalie Quadri made fantastic saves. Guns also had their chances in the first half but failed to convert, Gilberto notably unable to connect with a ball right in front of goal during a goalmouth scramble. In the second half, things got more intense as both sides searched for a goal. Guns defender, Praiz, who had been impeccable at the back, soon prevented Alimosho from finally taking the lead twice, during a sequence that saw them hit the post. As the game came close to the end, both sides made final efforts to get a goal but there was to be none as the game ended goalless. This was the first game of the season in the Male Liga to end goalless.
Man of the Match : Praiz Jr (Guns)
Citizens came into the game with a chance to go joint top on the table with Saints and Cubs. That was all the incentive they needed to start the game on the front foot. Courage, who had been a thorn in the flesh of Dannaz in the previous game, marauded down the left side once again, causing trouble early on. Not long after, Citizens took the lead through a free kick. A simple pass by Shabba set up midfielder Ette nicely. He made no mistake as he slotted home a delicious shot from just outside the box. All Black reacted well to going down and started to put pressure on the Citizens goal. They missed two huge chances to equalise just before the break. In the second half, they came back stronger, threatening the Citizens goal. Led by the outrageously gifted Rico, they carved open the Citizens defence before being thwarted at the last minute multiple times. A late last-ditch save by Duwem from a corner ensured that Citizens walked away with all three points despite an underwhelming performance.