By Sedara Philip
Ekiti United began the 2022/23 Nigeria National League, NNL season on a losing note after they were beaten 3-0 by Madiba FC in a B3 Southern Conference matchday 1 encounter at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan Stadium, Lagos on Tuesday afternoon.
The Ado-Ekiti based club who came into the encounter on a back of a well successful preseason friendly games were punished after the host took the lead in the 35 minutes when Ewodage Abubakar connected a well taken set piece by Ndubisi Anthony to nod home the opener.
Immediately after the goal, Ekiti United gaffer, Kehinde Anjorin quickly made changes with Pius Chikodi and Afisu Jelili replacing Wadulu Ofoni and Olatunji Sunday.
The Solomon Bala led side went into the interval with a 1-0 lead.
At the resumption of the second half, Ekiti United made two changes with Bankole Temitope and Odufu Noah replacing Wale Makanjuola and Abutu Haruna.
Ekiti United showed some glimpse of flashes but could not make it count and the home side quickly gained possession to pile pressure on their guest.
However, Madiba FC doubled their lead 2-0 in the 75th minute when second half substitute Egbonwon Harrison was brought down by Bankole Temitope inside the box as Solomon Aliu converted from the resultant penalty to send Ekiti United goalkeeper, Bankole Temitope the wrong way.
In the 82nd minute, Egbonwon Harrison made it 3-0 for the Lagos-based club when he took advantage of a goal bound effort to score and secured all the maximum points for the coach Solomon Bala team.
Ekiti United final substitution of Iyo Taiwo for Bolu Afolabi couldn’t make any difference as Madiba FC secured all points.
While speaking with journalist moments after the final whistle, Ekiti United head coach Kehinde Anjorin said that it was a bad result but just the first game of the season.
“It was a bad result, but still I’m not bothered because it is just the first game of the season,” said Anjorin.
“I don’t complain much about referees officiating because I saw what the referee was doing and I want our league to grow.
The gaffer also did not hide his feelings and blamed the referee for his team defeat and said the team will bounce back in their next game.
“My players played according to the instructions I gave them and their performance was spot on, but the referee caused us the game.
“We are going back home to prepare for our next game and am confident we will bounce back stronger,” Anjorin maintained.
Ekiti United will next play FC Ebiedei on matchday 3 with a bye on matchday 2 at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado-Ekiti.