By Ekema Njoku. M.
Match number two, of Day One in the SW regional Mini-interpools saw Continental Football Academy alias Gra-Gra Boys of Buea challenge Limbe Football Club Association (LIFCA).
Both sides coming into this level of the competition, knew what was needed since they participated in last season’s Mini-interpools, but failed to progress to the finals. The absence of the likes of Victoria United, Best Stars Academy; all of Limbe gives a great opportunity for any side to progress, though pundits supposed that LIFCA may progress to represent the SWR at the national interpools.
Coach Lazare Mbounya and his foot soldiers came into this encounter with their heads high, over-powering CUSA, last year’s finalist, EEMSA, and Buea United, to clinch the first position.
LIFCA under Coach Ernest Agbor was impressive as they over-powered city rivals, Best Stars Academy and Tiko United, alias the Samba Boys to stand top of the chart.
On the green turf, it was totally different as the young agile and swift Continental contained a very experienced LIFCA side. The Limbe boys had the most dangerous striker of the competition Beckly Gwe with 13goals after the first and second rounds of the League, while on their part, Continental had Stephen Junior Njoke in-between the goalpost.
In the first half of the encounter, both sides created goal scoring chances but failed to concretize, with the shot-stopper for the Gra-Gra Boys making exceptional saves to keep his side in the contest. With Junior Njoke’s great skill in goal-keeping and support from his team mates, Continental went on the break on the same parity with the dreaded LIFCA side that found the woodwork on two occasions and dashed the ball either to the side or over the post.
Stephen Jr. Njoke was so instrumental for Coach Mbounya’s Continental side during the second half as he continued in his fine form protecting the cage from the likes of Beckly, Clovis, Yann and Tabi who kept banging for a goal. The midfield combat was enormous as the likes of Bertrand Epoge, Ako Tabe Leo and Karlson Eyong for Continental FA, keeping check on the Ashu Tabi, Sergio Adiang, and Bareng Ako for coach Agbor’s LIFCA side.
10 minutes to the end of the encounter, the dreaded striker for LIFCA, Beckly Gwe, found the back of the net from a strike that was missed by his teammate, sending the fans wild at the Limbe Centenary Stadium.
The Buea boys continued questioning the defence of LIFCA but goalkeeper Festus Ebere and Captain Sakwe Itoe were vigilant and intelligent for the attacking force of Continental FA, Robert Mbungkah, Dieudonne Younyi and Blaise Njeneh.
“The match was an exceptional one; both sides were up to the task, but at the dying minutes of the game Continental FA dropped physically.” Bertrand Epoge, told Atlantic Chronicles after the encounter. He said, “We hope to win our next matches, though we know it is going to be a herculean task.”
Beckly told the press at the end of the encounter, that, “The goals I score come from hard work and the power of God upon my life. I believe we are going to qualify and make the region proud.”