By Raphael Ekpang
Most determined Dolphins FC has emerged the champion of the maiden edition of Likeminds FC tournament (Sunny Owobaba Memorial Cup) beating its opponents, RichBen FC in a penalty shootout.
The game which ended 1-1 on regulation time saw the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament; Ben Ngoka of RichBen FC opening the scoring at 20 minutes into the game before Arthur of Dolphins FC got the equalizer five minutes before the final whistle.
The final match which was watched by many dignitaries including friends of Bose Owolabani (widow) of the late Sunny Owolabani and well-wishers was a game to behold as out of the eight penalty kicks took by the two teams; the two goalkeepers stopped seven kicks and the only one that enters the net was the goal that gave the eventual winner’s the trophy.
In her reaction, Bose Owolabani said while watching the third place and the final match said she was visualizing her late husband, adding that what the Likeminds FC put together in honour of her late husband was beyond her imagination.
According to her, “ Likeminds really surprise us, the way you celebrated my late husband makes me feel as if he has not even gone. While the match was going on I was seeing him in your midst. Since I lost my husband Likeminds have really shown us the love and we deeply appreciate it.”
The pioneer President of the Likeminds FC, Dr. Eze Nwosu said, having watched and participated in the maiden edition of the Likeminds FC tournament (Sunny Owobaba Memorial Cup) organised in honour of his late member who also was a member of the executive he is fulfilled.
Dr. Nwosu, who doubles as the Board of Trustee chairman and the Mayor of Likeminds FC explained that the tournament has depicted the real essence of the formation of the club.
“I am fulfilled with what Likeminds put together in honour of our late member, this, in fact, is the real essence of the club,” he noted.
The President of Likeminds Mr. Richmond Edet who doubles as the captain of RichBen FC, the second place winners of the tournament expressed joy over the commitment of members towards the tournament and also the turn up of spectators during the finals.
Meanwhile, Mr Edet whose penalty kick was stopped by goalkeeper Onwa Orizu of the Dolphins FC said that the tournament will become a yearly event and promised that they were going to improve on the pitfalls of the just concluded edition.
The coach of the Dolphins FC (Champions), Barrister Chinedum Odenyi said it was the team’s commitment and resolute that gave them the victory at the end of the day. He noted that after they went down 1-0 in the first half of the game, on resumption in the second half they capitalized on the technical deficiency of their opponents and got the equalizer.
“After the first half we were down by a lone goal and when we analyzed while we conceded the goal, we made necessary adjustments and when we came back for the second stanza of the game we got the equalizer and eventually we won on penalty shootout,” he said.
Meanwhile, Onwa Orizu who emerged the best goal keeper of the tournament regretted conceding a goal at the final match, adding that he wanted to keep a clean shit all through the tournament.
“I actually thought I was going to keep a clean shit all through the tournament, but unfortunately I conceded a goal in the final match,” he said
Ben Ngoka, the MVP of the maiden edition of the Likeminds FC (Sunny Owobaba Memorial Cup), a three goals hero said he was disappointed that his goals could not give his team the trophy but said that by the next edition he hopes his team can do better.
The medical director of Likeminds FC, Dr. Samuel Eze on his part congratulated the winners, Dolphins FC and said his team will do better in the next edition.
He noted that his team, DbossTchair FC played the competition without a goalkeeper rather they converted an attacker to mount the poles. He said that if they had gotten a goalkeeper, he was sure they could have won the tournament because despite that they loss only one match.
Meanwhile, Amigochi FC defeated DbossTchair FC on penalty in the third place match.