The Nigeria football pre-season tournament, Naija Super8 League came to a thrilling conclusion as latest sporting sensation, Sporting Lagos beat Remo Stars 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in regulation time.
For Remo Stars, it turned to a hattrick of second place in all league competitions this year. They were runners-up to Bendel Insurance in the Group A of the abridged league. In the Super 6 Playoff, they were runners-up to Enyimba in a contest that could have seen them emerging champions if they had doubled their lead in their last match against Bendel Insurance.
On Sunday, it was the same tale. They were runners up to the home-team of the NaijaSuper 8 League, Sporting Lagos.
The Nigeria Premier League looks like potentially a thriller if the fall-out of the Najai-Super 8 is anything to go by. There will be thrilling South West derbies involving four teams as new arrical to the stage, Sporting Lagos look like providing tough encounters when they engage the ‘Stars’ of the West – Remo Stars, Shooting Stars and Sunshine Stars.
On Sunday, It was indeed football coming home as for the first time in decades, a football arena was filled, almost beyond official capacity in clubsides’ duel.
The capacity crowed was not disappointed as they soak the excitement provided by the two clubs powered by private initiatives.
After a goalless first half, it was the home team that broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute. Remo Stars fought back gamely and got an equaliser in the 86th minute through Adams Olamilekan.
But it was controversially ruled offside. As the clock ticked down in the added eight minutes, Olamilekan struck again to deadlock score lines at 1-1. In the consequent lottery of penalty shootout, Sporting Lagos had the better nerves, point to the fact that they were better prepared for any eventuality that often follows a knock-out stage competition.
Incidentally, the first blood in the shootout was from Junior Lokosa who last month was one of the propelling players that helped Remo Stars. This time, he was playing against the Ikenne Side and appeared to have good knowledge of Remo Stars goalkeeper, Kayode Bankole.
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