Sporting Lagos FC achieved another milestone in their fledgling history after they beat Remo Stars to win the inaugural edition of the Naija Super 8 at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan on Sunday night, www.aclsports.com reports.
The Lagos based club gained promotion to Nigeria’s top flight, the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) less than two weeks ago and on Sunday landed their first piece of silverware beating Remo Stars 4-2 on penalties after a pulsating 1-1 draw.
After a goalless first half during which Remo’s Isaac James was denied by the cross bar, the City Boys went in front courtesy of former Flying Eagles defender Aliu Salawudeen who prodded home from close range after Remo Stars goalkeeper Kayode Bankole had pushed out Jonathan Alukwu’s header to Chiemeka Nwokeji’s free kick.
Paul Offor’s wards kept good control of the proceedings and never seemed to be in danger until late in the game when Remo Stars coach Daniel Ogunmodede introduced Olamilekan Adams for wing back Seun Ogunribide.
Adams proved to be an instant menace, waltzing pass Sporting defenders at will and had his effort denied by the woodwork late on.
Adams then thought he had brought the game to parity in the 88th minute when he jabbed home Dayo Ojo’s flick but the Assistant Referee inexplicably raised his flag for offside, causing a few minutes of disruption to the game.
The equaliser however came in the third minute of stoppage time through Adams who ghosted in beyond the Sporting defence to poke home. It was none less than Remo Stars deserved after turning on the heat in the last fifteen minutes.
The game went into penalty shootout where Sporting Lagos goalkeeper Christian Nwoke proved to be his team’s Messiah once again saving Remo Stars’ first and last spot kicks by captain Nduka Junior and Sodiq Ismail to hand his side a 4-2 win.
Two penalties saved. — Sporting Lagos (@SportingLagos) July 16, 2023
Christian Nwoke — The Great Wall of Lagos 🧱 pic.twitter.com/wejVIGySYM
Junior Lokosa who joined Sporting Lagos from Remo Stars this week came on late in the game and converted his new side’s first kick in the shootout and thus celebrated a title with them within hours of his switching bases.
For winning the tournament, Sporting Lagos were awarded a princely sum of twenty-five million nairas (N25m) while Remo Stars got nine million nairas. The money spinning tournament saw every team rewarded with three million nairas for each game they played.
Sporting Lagos defender Aliu Salawudeen was voted Hero of the Match for the final match while his teammate, midfielder Emmanuel Odafi was named Tournament’s Most Valuable Player by the Technical Committee which had former Nigerian international Friday Ekpo and foremost journalists Deji Omotoyinbo and Fisayo Dairo.
The Naija Super 8 tournament is a creation of the twin partnership between FlyKite Productions and MultiChoice, owners of DStv.