Enyimba’s Okonkwo set to miss NPFL clash with Abia Warriors

Enyimba’s Okonkwo set to miss NPFL clash with Abia Warriors
Chinonso Okonkwo fomerly of Rivers United

by Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Jan 30, 2018. 12:00

Enyimba striker Chinonso Okonkwo has reflected on Sunday's 1-1 draw against Rivers United in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) match in Port Harcourt on Sunday.

The forward, who was named Man of the Match, won a late first-half penalty, but he was red-carded for dissent with ten minutes left on the clock.

Okonkwo spoke to Enyimba's official media channel and he explained his sending-off while also baring his anguish at missing Wednesday's local derby against Abia Warriors.

"I really thank God for the result, and I thank the players for the way we came out in the game. Also, I'm very very happy about myself, although toward the dying minutes of the game, I was so disappointed about the red card,” he said on FC Naija.

"But if you watched the game, you'd know that, at a time, it became so frustrating to me because, [off] the ball, the (Rivers) defenders were kicking and hitting me. I know that was their game plan, but it was quite unfortunate that I got the (second yellow) card.

"I'll tell you the truth: it's bad. As you can see, some of our players are not available – they went for CHAN – while some are injured. It's not like I wanted to get the red card, it was just a part of the game. I feel bad. You know, in a local derby, you have to give all. Assuming I could be there, at least... What will be, will be; but I prefer being there to make something happen."

The 27-year-old marksman went on to comment on being played as a lone striker.

"In the Nigerian league, you have an away plan and you have a home plan. So, for away games, we had that as a game-plan that I'll be played alone (upfront), trying to keep the ball while the support comes from behind,” he explained.

"It isn't that I really enjoy it, because it's more stressful to hold the ball alone and it takes time for others to support you. But in a home game, we wouldn't play like that.

"I think that's the plan of the Technical Director, so that's the reason we played like that."

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