NNL 2021 Season: Rovers step up preparations with a win against Diamond Stars in pre season friendly

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By Kelvin Obambon

Rovers Football Club Calabar is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that the team achieve its objective of finishing top in the Nigeria National League (NNL).

This is as the club intensifies preparations ahead of commencement of the 2020/2021 season with a win against Diamond Stars FC, Calabar.

The match which kicked off 4pm on Tuesday at the main bowl of the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar, recorded some brilliant performances by players of Rovers, who outclassed their opponent from the national amateur division.

Rovers opened scoring few minutes into the first half when Josiah Daniel converted a short pass within the penalty area. The lead was extended after Kingsley Michael’s clinical strike few meters away from the penalty spot took the goal tally in the first half to two.

The third goal of the game came through Fabian Omini, about 10 minutes into the second half, after a challenging goal-mouth tussle sneaked the ball pass the goalkeeper. Mid-way into the second half, a powerful strike from Emmanuel Odafi outside the penalty area further took the goal tally to 4. The 5th and last goal came through a penalty neatly delivered by Daniel Ini.

Rovers sealed the game with an emphatic 5-0 win over Diamond Stars FC.

Speaking shortly after the friendly encounter, Rovers coach, Samson Unuanel, disclosed that the match was one of the team’s preparatory games. He said the outcome of the match has indicated that the players were working hard to change the face of football in Cross River State.

While stating that the goals scored were well planned and tactically executed, coach Unuanel commended the level of play and team work exhibited by the players all through the game.

On the quality of friendly games Rovers FC would play before the season sets in, the tactician said “In building a team, you start gradually. We are in the NNL, while Diamond Stars FC are in the Amateur. When you look at it, many of them were selected round the state which is for us a good competition.

“When you want to have good friendly, you play against those people that are not up to your level, because they will come at you with everything so as to get promotion. However, when you play a tough opposition, you equally build your team.

“So, from next week we will be playing teams from the NNL. If we have the opportunity to play teams from the premier league, we will play. The most important thing is that we are building a team.”