By Kelvin Obambon
Rovers Football Club Calabar has defeated FC One Rocket of Akwa in a preseason match played at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar on Tuesday January 19.
The game which kicked off at 4pm, remained barren until the 28th minute that a soft push on the ball by Daniel Ilebare slipped through in a goal-mouth tackle, thereby putting Rovers FC a goal ahead of the visitors.
Just when the first half was about wrapping up, an equalizer came the way of the opponent through a pass converted to goal by Stephen Ezeamaiwe in the 45th minute of play.
This, however, forced the first half of the match to end on draw.
When the second half set in, Rovers FC opened up another lead in the 54th minute as Daniel Ilebare, again, hit the back of the net from a finely connected pass within the penalty area.
Although several chances came the way of the home team, only two were consummated, and these dragged on until the final whistle that saw Rovers FC coasting home with a 2-1 win over FC One Rocket.
Both teams are currently in the 2020/2021 Nigeria National League season that is due to begin on 30th January, 2021.
While Rovers FC will open it campaign with Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan in group B1, FC One Rocket on the other hand, will go neck to neck with Ibom Youth FC in group B2.
Speaking shortly after the match, Rovers FC coach, Samson Unuanel, said his wards played good game and that the team would continue in that trajectory.
“We want to continue to play good game and show exactly what we will be able to offer when the season begins. This is our first big match, and to the best of my knowledge it’s not bad. We created so many chances. The next thing now is how to perfect those chances we are creating.”, he said.
The tactician also disclosed that Rovers FC would play a total of three friendly matches this week. The next game, he said, is billed for Wednesday January 20, with Leopard Football Club, and then another one on Friday.
Dignitaries who watched the Rovers FC versus FC One Rocket match include the Cross River State Commissioner for Sports and Cinematography, Chief Offu Aya; the Executive Chairman of Biase Local Government Council, Hon. Princess Ada Charles, who was the Special Guest of Honour; Commissioner for Sustainable Development, Hon. Oliver Orok, Chairman of Rovers Football Club Calabar, Mr Ebam Ejen, among others.