Enyimba United manager Gbenga Ogunbote and the Peoples' Eelepahnt's goalkeeper Theophilus have thrown their weights behind their top striker Mfon Udoh who failed to get on the score sheet on Sunday during the NPFL matchday 33 fixture against MFM FC in Lagos.
Udoh who is currently in the Super Eagles camp ahead of their CHAN qualifiers against Republic of Benin missed a few chances as the two times CAF Champions League winners were held to a gaolless draw by the Olukoya Boys. Mfon's inability to put the ball past Egbe Ospino infuriated some of his team-mates and his head coach Ogunbote. Some even demanded that he be substituted -a decision the manager considered before swiftly changing his mind.
Reacting to the incident in an interview with FCNaija.com after the encounter, Ogunbote who took over the reins of the Aba Landlords in November 2016 played down the event.
"Sometimes you find situations like that during matches. The player wants t actually score but couldn't get it right.
"The issue is an in-house matter. I dont like discussing my players in the press. There's anxiety when we miss a goal, sometimes you get carried away and things like that. The players are happy with him.
"He's the captain of the team and he remains the captain. I appointed him as the leader of my team and he's served us well. I couldn't at that stage take him off because he's unprdictable. Apart from not putting his chances away, his game was there for everyone to see. He works hard for the team."
Afelokhai who is also one of the called up stars by coach Yusuf Salisu for the CHAN qualifiers added: "Missing opportunities is part of the game. Everyday is not Christmas. He put in his best.
"At that stage he was supposed to take a decision which he did but sadly it wasn't the best decision. People shouldn't forget Mfon has rescued us on numerous occasions. I don't see any reason why anyone should be furious with him." Afelokhai told FCnaija.com
The result considerably dented the title aspirations of both sides but Enyimba would rue moments in each half when captain Mfon Udoh was clean on goal only to cut back and have the chance snuffed out. MFM would argue Adekunle Adegboyega should have had a penalty awarded to him rather than a foul for simulation in a first half they dominated but TV replays showed there was no contact between Afelokhai and the attacker.
MFM remain in second place, three behind leaders Plateau United who have racked up 59 points while Enyimba are placed fourth on 51 points.