By Hananeel Jackson
Nigeria’s representatives, Bayelsa United cruised into the next round of the CAF Confederation Cup with a resounding victory 4-2 over As Ashanti Golden Boys of Guinea at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa.
The tie which was a one-legged encounter due to the military coup in Guinea saw the Prosperity Boys completely outclassing their opponents from the blast of the whistle.
The midfielder, Favour Martins fired the Nigerian AITEO Cup Champions into the lead from Okardi Inikurogha’s cross in 5 minutes.
A few minutes after, captain Benard Okorowanta almost made it two but his effort was saved by AS Ashanti Golden Boys goaltender, Elie Ouendeno.
Man of the moment, Okardi Inikurogha compounded the woes of the visitors on 31 minutes from Hassan Oladimeji pass when Cheik Oumar Ballo brought Emo James down outside the danger zone having dominated the midfield for a long period of time.
The quest for goals continued on 36 minutes when under 23 invitee Emo James increased the scoreline for Bayelsa United as he fired home from Zakala Tobin’s left-footed cross to ensure that the Prosperity Boys maintained their 100 percent record at home.
On resumption of play in the second half, the AS Ashanti Golden Boys gaffer Morry Fofana made two changes with the introduction of Moussa Keita and Naby Sylla as the Guineans reduced the deficit from substitute Naby Sylla.
A few minutes later, Okardi Inikurogha’s header sealed the victory for Bayelsa United to ensure that the visitors’ sightseeing mission to Yenagoa was completed.
Ashanti Golden Boys however reduced the goal deficit by 78 minutes but it was too late as the Guineans were eliminated 4-2 on aggregate.
Following their qualification into the next round, the Yenagoa based side will next month face CS Sfaxien of Tunisia who was given a bye in the preliminary round.
In a post-match interview, Technical Adviser of Bayelsa United, Diepreye Teibowei said his game plan was to seal the victory in the first half, attributing the first goal his side conceded to carelessness.
He asserted that he was not afraid of any team in the continent having dispatched big teams in the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL to become Aiteo Cup Champions, saying that the victory was not a fluke.
AS Ashanti Golden Boys coach, Morry Fofana who spoke through an interpreter noted that lack of information about Bayelsa United was the reason behind his side’s lackluster display, adding that the plan was to pull a draw in Nigeria.
He pointed out that the uncertainty in Guinea also played a role in AS Ashanti Golden Boys exit in the CAF Confederation Cup which made all Guinean teams kiss the tournament goodbye.
Man of the match, Okardi Inikurogha, opined that he was elated scoring a brace in the continent, pointing out that they were optimistic of progressing to the next round of the second-tier club football in Africa.
Meanwhile, Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri has presented new Coaster buses to Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens and rewarded the Prosperity Boys with a sum of 14 million Naira for beating AS Ashanti Golden Boys in the CAF Confederation Cup.