Saturday, December 10, 2016 3:29 pm
By Daniels Ekugo
Asegun Comprehensive Secondary School, Ibadan, the Oyo State representative, has emerged national champions of the season three of the Etisalat U-15 School Cup. The school team defeated FOSLA Academy, Abuja 4-3 via penalty shoot-out after both sides ended two goals apiece in open play in the final match decided at the Campos Mini-Stadium, Lagos on Saturday.
The sides, arguably the best teams on parade at the National Finals, had started the first half cautiously, but it was the Oyo boys that looked a better side with some efforts at goal though FOSLA grew into the game as the match dragged down.
FOSLA Academy continued from where it had left off in the first half, but was soon pegged back by the Oyo school team which broke the deadlock through Rasheed Qudus who had escaped from the eyes of the opposition defence to nod into the net from a free kick. The goal seemed to have stirred up the Abuja boys and their efforts paid off when Gabriel Adejoh levelled scores with a curling free kick that evaded the wall of the Oyo team. The goal brought the stadium to life as many clapped for the brilliance of the goal.
The joy was however short-lived as Rauf Jubril put his side ahead from a free kick. As the time wore on towards the closing five minutes, there was visible apprehension in the camp of the Abuja boys and the thousands of fans they have wooed with their brand of football. FOSLA captain and danger man, Prosper Ojukwu, however had other plans as he drew level with less than two minutes to go to send the match into penalty shoot-out.
For winning the tournament, Asegun Comprehensive Secondary Schoolwent home with a cash reward of N2 Million and the Champions Trophy as well asN50,000 each for the players, while FOSLA went home with N1 Million with each of the players pocketing N30,000. Third-place winner, Kwara, got a cash prize of N750,000 for its efforts with its players receiving N20,000.00 each.
In the individual awards category, goal keeper of the Oyo team, Abram Femi picked the Golden Gloves Award for conceding just two goals at the National Finals. Prosper Ojukwu won the Golden Boot with five open play goals and also the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Dignitaries who watched the Final match include the Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Willsher; immediate Past President, Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Sani Lulu Abdullahi; President, Nigerian School Sports Federation (NSSF), Mallam Ibrahim Muhammad; Director General, Lagos State Sports Commission, AdewunmiOgunsanya; Vice President, Marketing, Etisalat Nigeria, Adebisi Idowu; Ex-Nigerian Internationals and former Super Eagles Players, MutiuAdepoju and Victor Agali; Director, Brand and Experience, Etisalat Nigeria, Elvis Ogiemwanye and Director, Co-Curricular Activities, Lagos State, Babs Akinyeye.