Plateau Utd beat Warri Wolves despite Ajiboye’s heroics

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Former junior international, Dele Ajiboye’s spirited effort to keep a third consecutive clean sheet was thwarted in Jos by Plateau United in a 2-1 defeat of Warri Wolves at the Rwang Pam Stadium.

With Wolves’ below par performance, Ajiboye had to be at his best to avoid an embarrassing scoreline. Ajiboye may well turn out the hero of the Seasiders this season as his heroics has been a talking point in the team’s performance from the pre-season tournaments to their opening game in Owerri against Heartland.

Ultimately, the game in Jos was reduced to ‘a shooting exercise’ by Plateau United and Ajiboye’s saves. Buoyed by an ambition to keep a clean sheet in another away fixture after doing same against Heartland in match day one, Ajiboye stood between the hosts and goal.

Moment after moment, Plateau United raided the visitors’ goal but Ajiboye threw every part of his body on the way. He formed a human wall in front of Wolves goal. Within the first two minutes, he had already made three point-blank saves.

The worst hit on the day was Plateau United’s tormentor-in-chief, Sunday Ngbede. After every attempt to score had been thwarted by Ajiboye, Ngbede did the audacious in the 55th minute. He saw Ajiboye off his line; expertly chipped the ball beyond him but with the ball headed for the top corner, Ajiboye back-pedalled and grabbed the ball.

It was such a class act of a save that even the home fans could not help applauding the visiting keeper’s brilliance.

It was always going to take something special to beat Ajiboye on such an inspired evening.

In the 70th minute, Ajiboye finally picked the ball from his net. A seemingly harmless free-kick was lifted into the box by Plateau United skipper, Golbe Elisha. Wolves skipper, Goodluck Onamado nodded the ball back to his keeper, but Ajiboye was off his line. A heart breaking own goal reminiscent of a similar episode involving the defunct Abiola Babes defender, Toyin Ayinla and keeper, Raymond King in the 1985 FA Cup final against the defunct Leventis United.

Wolves fought back and equalized on 73 minutes when King Osanga capitalized on a defensive mix-up to slot the ball beyond Innocent Ndem. Yet a minute later, Plateau restored their lead when Julius Nuhu tapped in from a goalmouth scramble.



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