Finidi George finally turned a corner in solving Enyimba’s inability to score more than two goals in over a year, but it came at a price.
The Aba elephants will not get a league route to the continent for the first time in five seasons.
Finishing seventh on the league table means a win in the FA cup is the only chance to play continental football.
A Bright Start and A blunt Middle
The Finidi Numbers and Stats
The 4-0 win means Enyimba FC kept clean sheets in 2+ consecutive continental matches for the first time since September 2019.
They also kept clean sheets in a continental tie (H&A) for the first time since the 2015 CAFCL preliminary round.
The Finidi effect is in full flight with two wins and two clean sheets for Enyimba Fc of Aba.
The top scorers are clicking as Omoyele and Mbaoma scored in the same game for the first time.
By match week eight, Take a Look at the league table, and you’ll see Enyimba 4th with zero Goals Difference.
Teams in the second half of the table have a + goals difference.
For A team that creates tons of chances, this is an existential problem that can derail them.
The low-scoring problem didn’t start with Finidi, as the bluntness has been there for a while.
In the 2020/2021 season under Coach Osho, Enyimba couldn’t score more than two goals per game in all competitions until the final match at Dakkada.
Last season, in their first home game against Diambars, they scored 3. Since then, they didn’t have more than two in over ten matches.
The team managed a paltry five goals in eight matches for Enyimba in the first weeks of the league.
Coach Finidi George cuts a figure of a man in search of a solution, fast.
“Yes, I understand that we have to finish off our chances. But what can I do?. We train on it, but I can’t enter the pitch and shoot those balls. So the players that we have, need to score those goals.”
Margins And Chance Conversion
One of the biggest problems for Enyimba was winning margins as they labour in front of goals.
Enyimba’s top scorer for the 20/21 season, Tosin Omoyele, scored a paltry seven goals followed by Victor Mbaoma with six.
Chief Football writer at ACLsports, Fisayo Dairo, provides insight into a team creating but not converting chances.
“The game against that Libyan side, no exaggeration, if Enyimba were 4-0 up at the half time, it would be because they wasted up to five clear-cut chances. Guess what? The game ended 2-0.”
The players are baffled as well. They don’t know what’s going on anymore. It is beyond their reasoning.”
The Aba faithful waited till week 24 to see the people’s elephant-produced goals. Match weeks 20 and 24 produced seven; a 4-0 against Kano Pillars and a 2-0 against Wikki Tourists.
Before the two results, Enyimba struggled to score more than two goals in a game.
The results are strange if you look back at the club’s results for over a year.
Two years, one month, and six days; the last time Enyimba scored four goals. The goals came against Abia Warriors.
Enyimba: The Turn-Around
A 2-0 win over Wikki was the first sign because they’ve never won by a 2-goal margin in 2 years (except for MD 38 20/21 season).
Then, coming from behind to beat the Rangers also confirmed it.
Finidi never gave up as they eventually surmounted the challenge, although almost too late.
The two-time African champions finished with a goals-difference of +3, the sixth best in the league.