Clash of stars as Remo, Shooting rekindle rivalries at Optima Energy Gold Cup final

Clash of stars as Remo, Shooting rekindle rivalries at Optima Energy Gold Cup final

Shooting Stars will renew its rivalry with defending champions Remo Stars in the final of the 10th edition of the Optima Energy Gold Cup.

Recall in the last edition, the Sky Blue Stars mauled the Oluwole Warriors 4-0 to claim the trophy.

It’s a record for 3SC and Coach Gbenga Ogunbote, as both are making it to a third final of the preseason tournament after the Oluyole Warriors defeat Sunshine Stars by three goals to one.

3SC produced a five-star performance to claim the bragging rights over their southwest neighbours, Sunshine Stars.

The game was full of suspense and fireworks with end-to-end football that produced four goals, and two in each half.

Anthony Okachi should have made it 1-0 for the Oluyole Warriors in the earliest period of the South West derby after his long-range shoot-on target rattled the crossbar of the Owen Whales. Sunshine Stars had their half chances but was not enough to put them ahead.

Shooting Stars took the lead in the 20th minute after good attacking teamwork, which saw Abdallahi Hassan finding the back of the net from a rebound as Mustapha Lawal punches Stone Samuel’s effort away.

Sunshine Stars didn’t let the lead last and responded 22 minutes after, as Uzoechi Ejike made it 1-1 scoring from the spot kick after a 3SC defender was penalized for a handball in the box.

Okachi, who was a thorn in the flesh of the Owena Whale defenders, turned away from his marker to shoot the ball beyond the reach of Sunshine Stars’ goalkeeper and restored 3SC’s lead.

As Sunshine Stars pushed for the equalising goal to stretch the game to a penalty shootout, they got punished in added minutes of regulation time.

A needless foul on 3SC Promise Damala in the Owena Whales box, made the referee to award a penalty against them.

And Joshua Akpan converted the spot kick, thereby putting the icing on the cake and made it 3-1 for 3SC.

The goal is Akpan’s fifth of the Optima Energy Gold Cup, thus making him the top scorer.

The final of the pre – season tournament will take place on Saturday at the Remo Stars stadium in Ikenne.

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