After reaping their first away point from a ground as tough as the Yakubu Gowon Stadium last week, on Matchday 10 of the ongoing Nigeria Women Premier League season, Ibom Angels now have their eyes set on winning their remaining three matches so that they can secure a respectable position in Group A by the end of the regular season.
Ibom Angels currently boast of the highest goal scorer in the league, Charity Reuben, with six goals. Unfortunately, her goals have only seen them hover around fourth to sixth on the table.
In an interview with busybuddiesng.com, coach of the side, Whyte Ogbonda admitted that he has given up on the possibility of the Uyo-based outfit qualifying for the season-ending Super Four tournament. But that notwithstanding, they will give the rest of the campaign their best shot.
“I said so because if you cannot win a match in your home where do you think you are going to get the points to qualify for Super Four?” he asked rhetorically. “Don’t forget that we drew our match with Rivers Angels and Sunshine Queens in Uyo, losing four points. So if you lose four points of your own home matches where do you think you can be able to recover those points bearing in mind that this second round everybody wants to consolidate on home victory?
“So having seen that, I said it won’t be easy for us to get the Super Four qualification because you have to be realistic. This one has nothing to do with confidence but you have to tell yourself the truth that it won’t be easy.”
In the meantime, the goalless draw recorded against defending Champions, Rivers Angels away from home has brought a glimmer of renewed hope for Ibom Angels. The Uyo based side succeeded in keeping their star studded hosts led by Coach Edwin Okon at bay for all ninety minutes and earned a valuable away point for their sweat, while the Jewel of Rivers dropped points at home for the first time this season.
“I got some technical information on what they played in Bayelsa,” explained Coach Whyte who spent seven seasons with Rivers Angels as an assistant coach before taking over at Ibom Angels. “Because when I was in Rivers Angels, our traditional play was through the wings – we cut through the wings to open up the defence and when the diagonal passes come, inside the net.
“But when they played Bayelsa (Queens), I got a technical report from people that went for the match that the technical crew of Rivers Angels have stopped using wing play, they now compact all their attackers in the centre.
“So since I got that information, I had to work towards jam-packing the middle to make sure they don’t have space to operate. I think that was what gave us an edge in Port Harcourt,” Ogbonda asserted.
Ibom Angels are currently fifth in Group A with 9 points but they will not be in action on Matchday 11. However, Coach Whyte Ogbonda is already looking forward to their last three matches against FC Robo Queens, Abia Angels and Bayelsa Queens.
“We’ve come to Port Harcourt, we’ve gotten a draw, one point from that match so I think that happiness and everything that comes with it has gone. We are now focused on the next game coming up next week with FC Robo and subsequent matches.