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13th Oil & Gas Games: NNPC retains soccer gold …Pips ExxonMobil 1-0 in Final

The NNPC has confirmed its dominance of the football event in the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry Games (NOGIG), following a 1-0 thumping of the ExxonMobil team in this year’s final.

The final match of the 13th edition of the games tagged NOGIG 2010 took place on Saturday, 20th February, 2010 at the synthetic turf of Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

The match has been described by pundits as a real cracker, owing to the strength and squad depth of both teams, particularly the NNPC who are the defending champions in the tournament. In the 15th minute, the NNPC team wasted a chance to go ahead when team captain Oloton Uyi Charles missed a penalty after he was brought down in the ExxonMobil 18-yard box. Then, the NNPC team came under some scary moments posed by ExxonMobil skillful attacker Imoh Edoho, who was giving the defending champions’ backline a cause for concern.

The match continued in a dilly-dally affair, with NNPC dominating most of the midfield action till the end of the first half. Both teams came back from the break fully refreshed. But it was in the 50th minute that the NNPC team took full control of the game, pouring crosses and shots into their opponent’s goal.

The magic moment came when team captain Uyi Charles had a one-two with midfielder Wisdom Orajekwe and winger Yari Yakubu before crossing the ball for Ameen Shehu. Ameen’s low drive effort was poorly dealt with by the ExxonMobil goalkeeper Abel Nwaobodo in the 6- yard box. Unfortunately for the goaltender, NNPC winger James A. Ajegunle was on hand to bury in the rebound from a close range to put the NNPC ahead 1-0.