In a dramatic turn of events, favourites, Ingas Sporting Club failed to reach the semi final of the 2022 edition of the annual Ifeanyi Ekwueme Tico/Select Preseason Tournament following a shock 2-1 defeat by 10-man Apex Krane FC Wednesday at the Liberty Estate Football Pitch.
The Group A match had suffered several postponements but the Wednesday afternoon thriller was inevitable.
Ingas would have to blame their profligacy and goalkeeping elementary errors to blame for throwing away a game that had seeming been planted in their palms.
Either as a result of underrated their foes, loss of vision in the final third or both, Coach Kingsley Obiekwo was left to rue his side’s plethora of missed scoring opportunities despite the reduction of Apex Krane to 10 men midway into the second period.
After soaking Ingas consistent pressure, Daniel Ijeh fired the eventual winners into the lead on 44th minute.
Ingas responded instantly with the equaliser on the dot of the half time whistle, as Junior Ohalowe profited from communication breakdown between Apex Krane defenders and goalkeeper to haul the Kingsley Obiekwu side back into the game.
After the break, Apex Krane were reduced to 10 men after defender Chisom Ngomere saw red after taking down advancing Ingas attacker.
Ironically, Ingas did not make their numerical advantage count despite playing with one man advantage for a greater part of the second period.
They were then punished by Godwin Okoyeatu who poked home from close range after Ingas goalkeeper had needlessly rushed out to challenge an attacker on the byline leaving his net open.
And an expected overhead kick left Godwin free on goal for the eventual match winner.
Thereafter, the winners defended stoutly with their heads tightly screwd unto their neck after coach Ekwueme had tactically reorganised his team’s approach.
The result meant that Apex Krane will now cross Rangers path in the second semi final of the tournament on Friday, November 3 at same venue.
The winner of Friday’s semi final confrontation between Rangers and Apex Krane will meet Nnewi United in the final.