Goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa
Friday Aug 12, 2016. 22:33
Malaga lead NPFL All-Stars 2-1 by half time of the semi-final of the invitational Trofeo Carranza Tournament.
It was a much improved showing by the Nigerians after a subdued performance against Valencia, which they lost 2-1.
Skipper and goalkeeper Ezenwa was outstanding, pulling off saves in the eighth, 10th
and 21 minutes as coach Salisu Yusuf rung several changes following the departure of five Enyimba players to a CAF Champions League tie at Zamalek of Egypt.
Rangers midfielder Obinna Nwobodo displayed several flashes of brilliance as his other teammates also played with less fear.
The La Liga side took the lead after 22 minutes through a header by Zdravko Kuzmanovic off a corner.
However, the NPFL All-Stars draw level through an own goal in the 32nd
minute after Ismaila Gata had first failed to beat Carlos Kameni in a one-on-one situation.
Malaga regained the lead after 38 minutes, when the dangerous Sandro Ramires dashed into the box before firing an unstoppable shot beyond goalkeeper Ezenwa.
Malaga attacked from the onset and kept the Nigeria league selected on the back foot for the first 20 minutes.