Super-Sub Bida Ezra On Target AS Unbeaten WEST NILE Province Stun ACHOLI Province In FUFA DRUM SemiFinal First Leg
West Nile Province maintained their perfect record in the traditional show-piece as they defeated rivals Acholi Province 1-0 in the first leg of the FUFA DRUM semi-finals played on Saturday evening at Ababet Greenlight stadium in Arua City.
Bida Ezra rode to the White Rhinos’ rescue with the match winner off from the bench against rivals the Elephants to hand West Nile Province healthy lead ahead of the return match.
Both teams dished out a wonderful game of football which deserved to be watched by the more than 1,000 fans that filled the iconic Paruku stadium. Even the long distance from the venue and perhaps the unfriendly weather conditions in the city didn’t turn the away fans from watching their stars battling against their traditional rivals.
After a slow start to the game in the opening minutes of the encounter, Acholi Province managed to get a few chances in the first half but lacked the quality in their end product.
The first real chance of the clash came in the 26 minutes as Tito Okello’s delivery was met by Hudu Mulikyi but the latter’s header from the resultan cross went over the cross.
Before Tito Okello’s short from the left wing was brilliantly saved by West Nile Province Custodian Ajaib Nafian Alionzi in the 38 minutes.
The White Rhinos’ notable chance of the game came just two minute before the break when Rashid Kawawa’s effort off Fahad Bayo’s cross went inches wide as both sides settled for a goalless first half.
Despite being frustrated by the visitors in the whole of the 45 minutes, West Nile Province managed to break the deadlock in the 52nd minute when substitute Bida Ezra found the back of the net for his side.
The former Onduparaka Fc star played a sublime give and go with Kawawa Rashid who released the ball at the right time to Bida as his low shot beat Acholi Province custodian Derrick Ochan for a 1-0 lead.
Moments later the Elephants could have levelled matters had striker Tito Okello taken his chance when he found himself one on one with goalkeeper Alionzi Nafian following a cross from Denis Ojara but blasted his shot stright in the hands of Alionzi as West Nile held on to register maximum points aginst their rivals Acholi Province.
West Nile Province are now halfway through to the finals of the third edition of the FUFA DRUM but a tough second-leg encounter against Acholi Province at Pece Memorial Play Ground in Gulu City awaits them on 18th December 2022.