C.O.D United FC came into this game full of confidence, with their supporters boasting aloud that they’re the “Lagos champions” (truly having won the last state FA Cup in the absence of Super Stores). After an out-of-this-world performance in which the flaming flamingos completely wore them down with exhilarating samba play, the COD boys had no choice but to embrace and even pray together with their colleagues from Stationery Stores FC, thanking the Almighty for helping keep the scores down to a respectable 0-1.
Truly, the Adebajo Babes could have won this game by a much larger margin if they had converted the numerous golden chances they created from breathtaking attacking play in the second half. Danger man Fuad was marked and hacked throughout the game, but that only gave opportunity for Hassan ‘Ashley Cole’ Oladimeji to prove his mettle as he thoroughly dominated the entire left flank, both in defense and attack.
The introduction of ball jugglers, Emmanuel Obinna and Damilola Quadri in the second half was simply too much for COD as Stores absolutely took control of the midfield with scintillating dribbles and incisive passes which drew the very best out of COD’s highly experienced defenders and particularly the very agile goalkeeper James Aiyeyemi . One such mesmerizing display from Obinna forced the COD defense to concede a penalty which unfortunately was wasted by Stores. Barely 2 minutes later, Emmanuel Obinna, who by now had earned the sobriquet “Ilerika”, was there again to thread an incisive pass to centre-forward Festus Ajah who finished with an equally brilliant show of raw football skill.
Other than Stores’ tantalizing game, the other commendable aspects of this game were, first, the effective crowd control exhibited by the Stores’ supporters club stewards who stepped in to calm the crowd after some questionable calls from the referee in the first half, and second, the rare show of sportsmanship exhibited by the players of both teams who mixed freely and prayed together immediately after the game in the true spirit of love, sportsmanship and Easter.
GOALKEEPER: Anthony Okoro 6
. His defense was so good, he could aford a quiet game today.
RIGHT BACK: Kehinde Adeyemi 6
. Worked well on the right.
LEFT BACK: Hassan Dimeji 8
. An Ashley Cole in the making, surely.
CENTRE HALF: Olatunde Nurudeen 6
. Composed and solid.
CENTRE HALF: Tinat Gideon (Captain) 7
. A true leader on the field today.
DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER: Michael Lawal 6
. Good game.
MIDFIELDER: Bushi Ogu 6
. Wherever he got the inspiration from today; Fantastic game.
MIDFIELDER: Azuka Fidelis 6
. Good game
LEFT WINGER: Fuad Ekelojuoti 6
. Marked, kicked and hacked by the COD defense all day.
STRIKER: Festus Ajah 7
. Scored a sublime goal to win Stores the game.
STRIKER: Akeem Arewa 5
. Rather quiet today.
PLAYMAKER: Emmanuel Obinna (replaced Lawal) MVP 8
. Call him, Haruna Ilerika, Jay Jay Okocha or just whatever, he was truly mercurial.
STRIKER: Azeez Babalola (replaced Arewa) 6
ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: Damilola Quadri 6
COACH: Fatai Amoo
Stationery Stores were awesome today. Obinna is the latest sensation to emerge, and Coach Fatai Amoo is doing a great job on the boys. The state FA should encourage the supporters’ stewards who bailed everybody out of a potentially messy situation this morning.