NLO MATCH: Real Sapphire Aim to build on 5-2 win over AS Racines

Real Sapphire FC will go into their second match of the new Nationwide League One (NLO) season with plenty of confidence gained from their opening day 5-2 defeat of AS Racines.

This is an effusive assessment from the club’s ecstatic coach, Abidemi Onaolapo (aka Barthez), who admitted he was happy with Saturday’s opening day win at the Maracana Stadium, Ajegunle, Lagos.

Although his opponents on Tuesday’s matchday two, Spartans FC, recorded a 5-0 victory that put them at the top of the table, Onaolapo is counting on more tactical tricks in his cupboard to guide his team to another victory.

He played down talk of a winning secret for his team, which earned Bayer Leverkusen of Germany the rave of the moment, Victor Boniface, but insisted they always tried to get things in order before every match.

He then attributed his side’s victory on Saturday to the fact that they were able to convert their chances early in the match, which allowed them to settle down quickly and pick more chances for the result, moving them into second place in the NLO table arrived.

The tactician affectionately called him ‘Coach Barthez’ and added: “The match was not bad. The most important thing is that we had our chances and we converted them earlier. That made the game easy for us.
“The opponents were not easy to handle, but we checked our drawing board very, very well before the match and planned our tactics. That’s what worked for us.

“There is no secret. There is no problem. We only concentrate on the game and do the most important things. We always talk to the boys, motivate them and show them the drawing board.

“We make them understand that this football can make them relevant and make them great in the future. We tell them that you have to give your best in every match so that you can become a better player.”

He concluded by charting a course for other games they will play this season, starting against the top-seeded Spartans on Tuesday at the same venue.

“The season has only just started, but the first match is important. Winning it gives the boys more confidence to continue and get a good result at the end of the season,” Onaolapo predicted.

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