FootballSports

Remo Stars, Lobi Qualify For Naija Super Eight National Finals

UYO – High-riding Remo Stars of Ikenne, who a fortnight ago in Lagos qualified for the 2023/24 CAF Champions League through the Nigerian Premier Football League (NPFL) Championship Play-off, yesterday in Eket, Akwa Ibom State, continued their fine season with qualification for the national finals of the ongoing Naija Super Eight Play-off.

In a demonstration of the changing power game in the Southwest region, Remo Stars defeated the most successful club from the region, Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan, 3-0, to advance to the national finals billed for Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos, from July 7 to 16.

The Ikenne boys, driven by the craft of midfielder Qudus Akanni, raced into a two-goal lead within 12 minutes. Andy Okpe gave Remo Stars the lead with a tidy finish in the seventh minute, while Nweze Boniface doubled the lead five minutes later with a free header from a corner kick.

3SC rallied to reduce the deficit, but could not convert their chances, as Remo Stars took their two-goal lead into the break.

The second half was a shadow of the first, as both sides struggled to create chances. But Samuel Anakwe finally put the game beyond 3SC with the third goal in the 74th minute, tapping home a low cross from close range.

With the victory, Remo Stars maintained their unbeaten run against the Ibadan-based side.

Earlier in the opening game of the competition, Lobi Stars picked the North-Central zone ticket by defeating City FC of Abuja 4-3 on penalties in a thrilling match.

In the game at the Eket Township Stadium, City FC started on the front foot and had a clear chance to take the lead in the seventh minute, but failed to make it count.

However, Lobi Stars later grew into the game, and took the lead in the 30th minute through David Okoroni, who capitalized on a misunderstanding between a City FC defender and his goalkeeper to make hay.

The first half ended 1-0 in Lobi’s favour. But things changed in the second half with City FC taking the fight to their more illustrious opponents.

Their efforts paid off in the 53rd minute through Ibrahim Mahfus, who finished off a brilliant move from the left wing.

City FC then took the lead in the 76th minute through Arinze Ogbonna, but 11 minutes later, Lobi Stars drew level through Joseph Atule to send the match to penalties, which Lobi Stars won 4-3.

Naija Super Eight is organized by Flykite Productions in partnership with MultiChoice Nigeria and sponsors, MTN, Hero Lager, DStv, GOtv, SuperSport, Moniepoint, Pepsi, and Custodian Assurance.

According to Flykite Productions, each of the participating teams will earn N3 million per game, the runners-up trophy comes with N9 million, while the winner will get N25m.

The best player in every match will pocket N250,000, just as there is money for teams with the best supporting fans.

Today, the battle will move to the Southeast and South-South, with Heartland FC of Owerri trading tackles with the current NPFL champions, Enyimba FC of Aba, while South South titans, Rivers United and Bendel Insurance will battle for the right to represent the zone in the national finals.

 

 

©Guardian

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