Oluyombo Qudus gives CAIC Gethsemane FC a hard-fought victory over Sanctuary Strikers FC.

When two bright, probably the best teams go head-to-head in a tournament-decider game, you expect; a tough, cutthroat and more importantly, a classical football showpiece. That was what CAIC Gethsemane FC and Sanctuary Strikers FC had to offer in a match that will determine their progress in the competition as they treated the crowd to a masterclass of football play.

” We have already won the competition if you look at it, nobody can stop us and I’m already seeing my team in the final,” said Coach Beto of Gethsemane FC after an important win against Sanctuary Strikers FC.

Coming into the game with a point, Gethsemane FC knew they must be at their best. With a maximum 3 points from the last game, Sanctuary Strikers FC have an edge over their host but mustn’t handle the game with levity. Hence, they were the pacesetter. Idowu Lawal of Sanctuary Strikers FC ready to kickstart the game, awaiting the referee’s command — he already knew what he was just going to do.

The whistle blown, he launched an unexpected attack at his opponent. Gethsemane FC trying to find their feet, the visiting side exploited their unrest as Alade Lekan and Adedotun Feranmi’s beautiful one tourch at the edge of the left corner produced a sublime cross into the penalty box only for Idowu Lawal to slice his header past Gethsemane FC’s goalkeeper Adedeji Idris.

It looked like Sanctuary Strikers FC was aiming to replicate the blow they threw at Faith Bible FC on the opening match day but within a twinkle of an eye, things took a twist and turn. The host responded minutes after. They were in haste, aggressive and curious to restore parity soon in the game. Thus,the winger Oluyombo Qudus of Gethsemane FC’s dangerous run from the left flank was halted by Adulsalam Kehinde to give away a freekick. Akinleye Ogooluwa, calm and composed took a classy strike into the top right corner of the post leaving the keeper Olaoye Jeremiah clueless on how to approach the ball.

A goal apiece was the pre condition for the battle yet to be unfolded. A 1-1 draw was sufficient to begin the challenge, set the floor and clear the stage for individual brilliance and intriguing tactical team play. At this moment, the stands enjoyed nothing but football itself. All eyes were on Sanctuary Strikers FC’s sensation Adedotun Feranmi to dominate the midfield. Even though his resurgence was late in the game, it was belated as the performance of Gethsemane FC’s starlet Akinleye Ogooluwa was eye-catching. Assisted by Oladimeji Oluwatoberu, the wonderkid set the tone and controlled the midfield via his sleek dribbles, swift run, hoarding possession and outnumbering his opponent.

It was an almost perfect afternoon for him not until limping off the pitch at the brink of stoppage time in the first half. The midfield supremacy then paid off when the 2nd goal, and in the end the winner came knocking. Ogooluwa menacing in the No 10 role, set and attack in motion. Blessed with acres of spaces around him, the Gethsemane FC man advance, exchanged passes with Tomori Samson on the left and produced a clever cut back for Oluyombo Qudus to sweep a shot past Olaoye Jeremiah.

With 10 minutes to play, the visitors started to put the host under pressure with the hope of a comeback. Adedeji Idris saved well from Feranmi’s shot, who would attempt again twice, neither of which would threaten the goalkeeper.
But it was not over. Deep into stoppage time, bedlam set in. Oladeji Oluwatoberu of Gethsemane FC laying on the pitch calling the referee to his aid after he sustained an muscle pull injury — the referee ignoring his condition to attend to officiating responsibilities at that instant prompted Coach Beto to commit a gross misconduct by rushing into the pitch to attend to his player. Raged and incensed at that action, the referee sent off the coach to the locker room.
Thereafter, heated discussions followed regarding the controversial refereeing decision.
At the final whistle, the red carded coach Beto challenged the referee’s decision in these words:
” Actually it’s not a red card for me, because you can’t give a red card in such a situation because everything you do is save life first.”

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