…as Okene FC Defeats Okehi United
By: Joshua Adinoyi
Football enthusiasts in Kogi Central defiled the scorching sun and trooped to the Enyindudu Mini Stadium at Inoziomi in Adavi Local Government Area of the State to watch players of Okene Football Club and Okehi United, trade tackles at the Maiden SUNSHINE UNITY CUP.
The kick off ceremony of the Novelty Match was conducted by the Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Hon. Ibrahim Muhammed Otaru amidst Jubilation, as football fans in their sang danced at their various standing and siting positions.
An early red card issued by the central Referee to a Central Defender, Isah Hafeez, left his team, Okehi United played 10 against eleven-man of Okene FC.
Despite the seemingly disadvantage created, the Okehi Team played resiliently against her opponent before the jubilant supporters and other football enthusiasts in the Area.
The Novelty Match between the two teams was a beauty to behold as football fans were kept on their toes all through the first half of the encounter which ended goalless.
Knowing fully that a winner must emerge, the second half of the game stated in a fast pace with players of the two teams displaying skills and power on the pitch.
Despite their thirst and hunger for goals, the game ended in a goalless draw at the end of 90 minutes, paving way for penalty shootout.
The penalty shootout ended 5 – 4 in favour of Okene FC as the Team’s Goalkeeper saved a shot of the opponent.
With the victory, Okene FC has secured her place in the finals of the Novelty Match.
In an interview with the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the SUNSHINE UNITY CUP, Hon. Ibrahim Muhammed Otaru, expressed happiness over the commencement of the Maiden edition of the football showpiece.
He explained that the competition has come to engage the youths in profitable ventures and expressed delight over the talents taking part in the Competition.
Hon. Otaru described football as a unifying factor in every society, calling on well-to-do individuals to invest in football to impact the society positively.
The SUNSHINE UNITY CUP Organizing Committee Chairman commended Usman Sheid SUNSHINE’s initiative at marrying football with Music, saying that the two, remain active tools at fostering peace and unity in society.
While appreciating all members of the Organizing Committee for their efforts so far, Hon. Ibrahim Muhammed Otaru enjoined them to sustain their efforts towards ensuring the successful completion of the remaining matches.
He hinted that plans have been concluded to appreciate all teams that took part in the Maiden SUNSHINE UNITY CUP through Awards, stressing that such will go a long way at encouraging participants and as well, propel other teams to participate in the next edition.
The Head Coach of Okene Football Club, Hassan Abdulbaki, expressed joy over the victory of his team, describing the success recorded as end product of adequate preparation.
Abdulbaki noted that his Team is in the Maiden SUNSHINE UNITY CUP to take the trophy home, calling on his players to remain resilient in the encounters ahead.
Similarly, the Coach of Okehi United, Abdulsalam Musari, commended the organizer of the Novelty Match, Usman Sheid SUNSHINE for his zeal and desire at giving youths opportunity to showcase their talents in the round leather game.
Coach Musari, however faulted the officials for earlier disallowing three of his players from taking part in the match over an offense that should be credited to someone else.
He explained that the Manager of the team they played for in a different League delayed the payment of the Offense, stressing that if strange referees were invited to officiate, the said 3 players would have been allowed to take part in the Match between Okene FC and Okehi United.
Coach Musari enjoined the Organizer to address such issue in the subsequent editions, adding that room should be created for fair play in such match organized by individuals or organizations.
The next game will see Ajaokuta slog it out with Adavi on Saturday, 24th December; 2022 at the Okene Mini Stadium by 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, the finals between the Winner of the first and second matches will be played on 29th December; 2022 at the Ihima Mini Stadium, Obeiba by 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
The launching of the new album titled: LOST GLORY (Yasita neta part 2) comes up on Saturday, 30th December 2022 at the AFIMS HOTEL, Oro, Obehira-Okene road by 12Noon with live performances by many artist from different places.