-Present trophy to Hon. Agunbiade
Excel Football Academy of 174 Battalion, Odogunyan in Ikorodu, on Sunday, April 8, 2018, emerged the champions of the inaugural Hon. Bayo Osinowo Gold Cup tagged, ‘Lagos East Senatorial Unity Cup’.
The Ikorodu team defeated Sporting Loyal FC 2 goals to nil to lift the championship cup at the final match played at Aromire Sports Centre, Lagos.
The tournament was sponsored by Hon. Bayo Osinowo, a leader in the Lagos State House of Assembly popularly called ‘Pepper’ by his admirers and friends.
Taofeek Otaniyi, Excel striker, scored the only two goals that made the Ikorodu team lifted the cup.
The potent striker also scored two goals against Eleniyan Boys FC in the semi final match which was decided with penalty shootouts which was won by Excel Academy after an impressive 2-2 draw .
The well attended final match was attended by the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Musdashiru Obasa, the Majority Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, the sponsor of the tournament, Hon. Bayo Osinowo (Pepper), Hon. Segun Olulade among many others.
Excel Football Academy also defeated Star Base FC in the quarter final match 5-3 via penalty shootouts.
Excel Academy and Destiny FC had qualified from the Ikorodu centre of the tournament out of the 24 teams that participated.
Also, two teams each qualified from the Epe centre out of 8 teams that participated and Shomolu/Kosofe centre which had 32 teams.
The six teams that qualified from the three centres played in the finals in Somolu,Lagos, which ended on April 8 with Excel Academy FC emerging champions.
Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, while receiving the trophy from the victorious players of the Excel Academy FC who paid him a courtesy visit in his Ikorodu Constituency office on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, commended the team for making Ikorodu proud and pledged his support for the team’s future engagements.
“I didn’t know that Ikorodu team was playing in the final until the day of the final which I was invited to attend by our leader at the Lagos Assembly, Hon. Bayo Osinowo, popularly called ‘Pepper’”, he stated.
“While leaving Ikorodu, I told our party Chairman, Alhaji Taiwo Longe, that I was going to the final to bring the cup back to Ikorodu. I was acting on my instinct. I knew that we are going to bring the cup back”.
“At the stadium, I was taunting the Speaker, Hon. Obasa, the sponsor/host, Hon. Osinowo, Hon. Olulade and others that we were there to take the cup to Ikorodu. I never gave them respite because I was joyous and confident that our team, which was the better side, would emerge victorious”.
‘‘I was a player in my days too. I enjoyed football and I was playing for Santo FC. This accounted for my love and interest in the round leather game and sports generally because I also played hockey”, he revealed.
“Hosting the team is just my own little way of appreciating your team for making Ikorodu proud and for representing us excellently. Thank you all. You have given me more reasons to taunt the entire Assembly the more that we are Ikorodu and we are ‘Oga’ ” , he said appreciatively and jokingly.
“You have projected the name of Ikorodu very well and I will be willing to support you to achieve greater heights” , he pledged.
The team’s entourage, which was led the by chieftains of Ikorodu Division Football Association (IDFA), Alhaji Lookman Shonibare and Chief Isa Orelesi, had the team manager, some players and other back room staff.
As Champions of the tournament, Excel Academy FC won a Gold Cup and a whopping N1million cash prize.
The team’s goalkeeper, Imole-Ayo Samuel Adekoye, won the best goalkeeper of the tournament while the team’s coach, Sangosanya Tokunbo, emerged the best coach of the tournament.