Lawrence Akpokona left the Warri Stadium last night taller than his height. He lived up to his word that he would improve Warri Wolves after their not too convincing qualification for the second round of the CAF Confederation Cup. His work clearly showed in the match against Zesco of Zambia.
After a barren first half and even deep into the second half, the team had no goal to show for their dominant performance on the pitch. Their runs were better and their positional play was a beauty to behold, but no goal to tell the story.
And Akpokona made two changes. One of the substitutes, a star of the side, Omonigho Temile, who almost single-handedly qualified them for this stage fired his colleagues up and the home side intensified their attack and they became more aggressive. The changes brought more life to the team.
Ogude Eddy, one of the substitutes scored in the 73rd minute and Gift Atuleva another substitute scored two more goals to send the Warri fans dancing. The third goal in particular was a beauty as he curved a free kick from near the corner side into the net.
Mike Idoko, the former Team Manager of Wolves was in Warri to inspire the players. During the half time, Idoko went to the dressing room and told the players that each goal they score would be rewarded with a N100,000 while Pinnick Amaju promised them N2 million for a victory. Amaju who is Chairman of Delta State Sports Council said that they were dedicating the victory to the State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Reacting after the match, coach Akpokona said that the team have improved but agreed that a lot of work needs to be done before their next match. Eddington Kujebola said that it was a difficult first half but said that it would be a big boost to Warri Wolves.
Particularly outstanding was the goalkeeper of Wolves, Chigozie Agim, who stood between the visitors and goals. He is yet to conceed a goal at the Warri Stadium.