Kaita Helps Enyimba Beat Kaduna

Sani Kaita capped a solid home debut with a superb winner as Enyimba International edged Kaduna United in a Match Day 13 encounter decided at the Enyimba International Stadium in Aba last weekend.
In a game that saw the People’s Elephant waste many scoring chances, Kaita’s volley from 20 yards after United failed to properly clear an indirect free-kick by Mfon Udoh was all that secured the full marks for the Zachary Baraje-led hosts.
The Olympic Silver Medallist later expressed his delight at scoring in his home debut for the two-time African Champions.
“I feel very happy and very pleased to score a goal, my first goal of course and the important thing is that we got the 3 points which is very good for the team”, he said.
Enyimba returned home for this Match Day 13 encounter after three games on the road during which former junior international Sani Kaita made his debut for the club against Sharks FC in Port Harcourt.
After completing the full 90 minutes for the first time in Lafia, Kaita was named in the starting lineup for his home debut. Goalkeeper Olufemi Thomas who was first choice last season was also called up for his first league start of the season with Paul Godwin dropped from the Match Day squad.
Such was Kaita’s influence on the game that his huge presence served as a springboard for his teammates to concentrate on attacking duties. He battled every Crocodile, won aerial duels, laid simple but key passes and was almost mobbed by delighted fans catching a first glimpse of him on home turf after the game.
It was Kaduna United that started the game with more sharpness as they sought frantically for their first goal away from home this season. The visitors had three shots on target in the opening ten minutes including a sizzling long-range effort from Isah Aminu which was well gathered by Thomas.
Enyimba took those attacks on their chin and countered with sporadic wave of attacks on their opponent’s goal area, but poor marksmanship meant they played over half an hour without the curtain raiser. Former Akwa United star, Mfon Udoh was guilty of missing gilt-edge scoring chances alongside Abdulrahman Bashir.
The ever-demanding fans of the team had started growing impatient when the goal came. A routine free-kick was taken from the right flank by Udoh and while Peter Ambrose thought he had done well to head clear, the ball fell kindly for Kaita who, lurking at the edge of the box rammed home a volley which goalkeeper John Shuaibu had no answer to.
Enyimba continued to press for more goals on resumption of the second stanza but were either denied by the inspired Kaduna United shot-stopper Shuaibu or by indecision in front of goal. Shuaibu on three different occasions denied Thomas Zenke and his former ABS teammate Bashir with his sharp reflexes, while Udoh’s indecision allowed Shuaibu gather the ball at his feet when placed through to goal. Enyimba however held on for the three points which lifts them to 9th place on the log.
Victory came at a cost though as Technical Adviser, Zachary Baraje was left numbering the number of remaining fit players in his squad ahead of midweek trip to Kano against his former team El-Kanemi Warriors.
Home-based Super Eagles star Ifeanyi Ede was withdrawn at half time while Ugwu Uwadiegwu limped off after 70 minutes. The likes of Andrew Abalogu, Abdulrahman Bashir and captain Chinedu Udoji also suffered varying degrees of injury during the tango between the Elephants and the Crocodiles.


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