Headbutt incident during 2016 Sarawak encounter already history for Ukah

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Selangor centre back Ugo Ukah was sent off for headbutting teammate Bunyamin Umar in their 2016 Super League encounter against Sarawak in Kuching.


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


Selangor are scheduled to take on Sarawak at the Sarawak State Stadium on Tuesday in the Super League, the second time the two sides will be meeting this season.

And although the first match ended in a 2-1 win for the Red Giants, the outcome of the last match between the two sides in Kuching was entirely different.

The Red Giants had arrived in Kuching for the 28 August 2016 Super League match on the back of two underwhelming back-to-back 1-1 draws, against league strugglers Terengganu, and Premier League side Kuala Lumpur in the Malaysia Cup.

The hosts opened the scoring five minutes before halftime through former Red Giant Junior Aparecido's goal. The visitors slogged and toiled in search of the equaliser, and only found it in the 76th minute, courtesy of young striker Adam Nor Azlin.

However, all hopes of a comeback win were dashed, when centre back Ugo Ukah was sent off deep in injury time following a bizarre incident. The Nigerian got into an argument with teammate Bunyamin Umar, headbutted him and duly received his marching orders.

Curiously enough, the pair patched things up almost immediately after the incident, all smiles and buddy-buddy again in an Instagram photo posted just hours later.

And to the pair's credit the effort was not just a PR move either, as both of them are still playing for the Red Giants, with their 1-0 defeat to T-Team two weeks ago the second consecutive match that both of them have started together.

And ahead of Tuesday's encounter, the 33-year old defender, who joined the Red Giants in July 2016, spoke to Goal about the incident and how things have changed for him at the club.

"It's a question of adaptation. I had just arrived to a new country, I needed to meet and know the people.

"This kind of incidents happen everywhere in every league, it's normal and it also involves the drive to win games.

"I remember we drew in the match, missed many chances, and were getting a bit frustrated.

"But everything is well now, we have good team spirit," explained Ukah.

With the incident already water under the bridge for Ukah, his target for the coming encounter is simple; to collect the all three points.

"We've come here to win, to do our best... we're going to take three points back home to Selangor," vowed the former Parma man.

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