As football’s only “Royal Rumble “, Olubadan Cup 2020 kicked off last Saturday, former 3SC, Enyimba star, Kola Ademola, Muyiwa Lawal (kokoro), were among the veteran soccer stars that shone brightly as their team LIBERTY ALL-STARS mangled a confused DIAMOND FC side 4-0.
The trio hit the target for the All-Stars team at different periods in the crunchy opening game of Olubadan Cup competition.
Also, defending champions, MOCDIM FC rallied strongly from a goal deficit against little known but highly tactical KAC FC with 20minutes left, levelled up in the 85th minute and galloped to second round with a 5-4 victory.
Earlier at the Pre-match interview, skipper of the side, Abdullahi Oyedele had promised victory over the timid but youthful DIAMOND FC.
Playing before a near-empty stadium save for officials and coaches of both teams, in compliance to FG’s COVID-19 restrictions, Liberty All-Stars comprising also, Dele Adeleye, Daniel Osuata ran rings around the obviously astounded DIAMOND players.
With deft and accurate short passes the veterans who have played on the highest stage in the past rendered a good account of themselves and send jitters down the spines of other contenders.
Barely 15 minutes into the game, Kola Ademola was hacked sown in the penalty area as he meandered among the slipshod defence of DIAMOND.
Ademola converted the resultant penalty for the first goal of the tournament.
About 5minutes later, Muyiwa Lawal (kokoro ) was on target as he clipped home from a square play to the far left of the net for second goal.
Former 3SC central defender, gangling Femi Okoro smashed in a volley for the 3rd goal.
Skipper Abdullahi Oyedele few minutes after sent the DIAMOND goalie in the wrong direction as he slotted in the 4th goal within 38 minutes of play.
DIAMOND players resumed in the second half looking more determined to at least reduce the tally, but tight -defending organised by Dele Adeleye, coiled with slouching movement in vital area and wayward shooting in front of goal robbed DIAMOND FC of goals.
MOCDIM FC zoomed into the round of 16 by hair’s breadth but had agile goalkeeper Isaiah Oyaremi to thank for stopping one kick while KAC Captain Azeez Adelekan’s bending kick missed the mark by inches.
In a racy, energy -sapping encounter domnated in the early minutes of the first half by a relatively young -one year old, KAC side, MOCDIM obviously being cautious as defending champions, contested every move but failed to find its rhythm.
MOCDIM’s Coach, Dimeji Odewade had earlier predicted at the Pre-match interview that his boys could always spring surprises most especially when written off.
Both sides matched each other by every standard.They were both youthful and possessed fast attackers.
The first half ended goalless.
Second half resumed with both sides making dangerous incursions into their vital areas, but robust defending prevented the goals from coming.
KAC became more offensive as the game progressed, operating from the right flank while it’s captain, Adelekan moved to top strike.
With barely 20 minutes to full time, KAC struck!
A two to beat one pass caught a MOCDIM left-full back flat-footed apparently out of exhaustion, and the KAC winger pulled out a low across whixh missed few MOCDIM legs and waltzed into the legs of Adelekan who tucked the ball past goalkeeper Isaiah Oyaremi.
MOCDIM, gingered by that goal fought gallantly and unleashed ferocious attack on KAC which wanted to create an upset.
Less than 10 minutes to go, KAC caved in to pressure as one of its defenders brought down MOCDIM striker.
Sulaimon Abiodun converted the penalty to an equaliser setting the stage for a shootout..
MOCDIM scored four kicks while MAC converted three of theirs.