Battle of Setpieces: Sanctuary Strikers showed CAIC Gethsemane superioriy in 2-1 setpiece thriller

Both teams walked with an air of unmatchable confidence as they walked up the pitch for the final game of the Truelinks Sports Under 14 8-Aside league competition. Dressed down in their jerseys and boots, you could tell they were both ready for war. And war it was as the ball flew from end to end and as boys ran after it like warriors that they were. It didn’t take long before a side found their rhythm in the contest. Toberu offloaded a perfectly weighted pass to Tomori Samson, who holds the ball well and passed to Ahmed Pelumi, who was fouled before he got a touch of the ball. Ogooluwa of CAIC Gethsemane FC stood over the ball and kicked the resulting freekick, which flashed over the post and went wide.
The game continued to be a one-sided affair as CAIC Gethsemane kept asking questions of the Sanctuary Strikers defence. One would wonder why the Sanctuary Strikers FC defence is this abysmal. It’s probably an allusion to their name. With pressure on Sanctuary Strikers FC, Gethsemane players exchanged passes, and Tomori Samson releases a pass to Ahmed Pelumi, who skips past a player before a lets fly. The shot went wide for a CAIC goal kick. As the game went on, Alade Lekan of Sanctuary Strikers FC got the ball and pushed it down the left flank before releasing the ball to Adedotun Feranmi, who passes to John Kehinde, who made a mess of the Gethsemane RB, but Ogooluwa recovers the ball and clears.

A quick exchange of passes between Samson and Toberu results in Tomori Samson having acres of space to run to as he has Toberu lift the ball over the defence for him. Samson controls the ball and passes the ball to Ahmed Pelumi, but Pelumi couldn’t get the ball as Elijah of Sanctuary Strikers FC clears the ball.

The game continued to be one-sided as CAIC Gethsemane kept outrunning SSFC in midfield. The SSFC midfielders were largely anonymous in midfield, and nothing could be made of their attack as well as Ogooluwa was towering head and shoulders above all in defence.

The game continued this way until the magisterial Adetoso Feranmi, who would later go on to win the Man of the Match and Most Valuable Player of the tournament awards, got the ball from an Alade Lekan throw-in, and he got fouled in the process. Feranmi took the freekick and curled the ball into the top right corner. A beautiful goal it was. Sanctuary Strikers, renewed with belief and motivation, began to mount pressure on the Gethsemane players, and they hit the bar twice in quick succession.

CAIC Gethsemane began to seek blood as they asked a lot of questions of the Sanctuary Strikers defence. Oladeji Toberu got the ball in the middle of the park and released a pass to Ogooluwa, who skips past a player before attempting to lay a cross to the short Tomori Samson. Jerry, the Sanctuary Strikers Goalkeeper, rose high to punch the ball, but he did a bad job at it as the ball fell for Ahmed Pelumi, whose shot was blocked. Tomori Samson hit the shot again, but the ball was cleared for a throw-in to ease the pressure off Sanctuary Strikers. Things got easy for CAIC Gethsemane as Elijah left too much room for Ahmed Pelumi to attempt a turn before he fouled him. Ogooluwa, who has scored a freekick earlier in the competition, hits the ball, and it’s in the net. 1-1.

It was a matter of minutes before Sanctuary strikers took the lead again from another setpiece; a corner kick. Well taken by Ahmed Olanrewaju past the poorly manned CAIC Gethsemane. The ball bounced off Ogooluwa, who had scored a goal for CAIC Gethsemane FC earlier and into the net. 2-1 it is.
The game continued to go end to end as while CAIC Gethsemane mounted pressure on Sanctuary Strikers; The Sanctuary Strikers did well to absorb the pressure and launched counters on the break. Idowu Lawal of Sanctuary Strikers lost a few goals of his own amidst the suspense-filled game.

You couldn’t tell where it would end. Sanctuary Strikers could have got another goal to bury the game. CAIC Gethsemane could have got a goal to get them back into the game. They fought with hope and energy. However, their hopes were shattered as they had to settle for a gruesome loss when the referee blew the final whistle. Sanctuary strikers are Champions.

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