28th February, 2013
A friendly match played by Buruj Football Academy of Ikorodu against Handsworth Football Club at the Agidingbi Grammar School, Ikeja, Lagos recently has put a question mark on the readiness of the team for this year’s Lagos State Challenge Cup.
The friendly match was part of the preparation programme both teams planned for the Challenge Cup. Handsworth FC who won Ogun State Challenge Cup two years ago used the friendly game to test their newly recruited players, while Buruj used the match to expose their young players.
Handsworth dominated the proceeding from the blast of the whistle. A powerful shot by Quadri Aladeokin that hit the bar could have been the first goal of Handsworth FC in the 12th minute. Buruj’s defenders were caught unaware by the shot even fans watching the match could see the confusion in their faces.
Aladeokin, who played from the attacking line gave their opponents a tough time as his passes and ball controls received applause from his colleagues and fans who came to watch the game.
His effort on the field paid off with a goal which was ruled offside by the referee. There was too much pressure on Buruj, but a 45th minute goal by Ibrahim Sesan gave Handsworth a reward for their performance in the first half of the friendly tie.
Lekan Makinde lost a penalty kick awarded to Handsworth in the 47th minute. A subsititute, Stephen Adodo scored the second goal for Handsworth in the 68th minute. He could not finish the match as he was given a red red card in the 75th minute for his unsportmanship behaviour.
Players of Buruj who looked ordinary on the field of play could not run with the ball very well. The team also lack creative midfielders, who could hold on to ball and give passes to attackers upfront.
Although Buruj’s defenders were averagely good, they failed to curtail Bamidele Okubo who was on rampage before he scored Handsworth’s third goal in the 82th minute.
Buruj Coach, Saka Moruf was relieved when Diala Favour scored the consolatory goal at the stoppage time to end the encounter 3-1 in favour of Handsworth.