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Adetona late goal rescues point for Rising Stars FC in Six-goal thriller

Following the pomp and majesty with which the opening ceremony and opening match of the Life House Incorporation Invitational challenge started, a match that saw Sanctuary Strikers FC annihilate Diamond Stars FC, Rising Stars FC and Redeemers FC knew that they had it all to do if they were to have a chance of qualifying from their group.

Sanctuary Strikers had earlier beaten Diamond Stars 9-0 in the opening match. The win had comfortably sitting at first position on their table. The early minutes of the game was tension filled but the kids of Rising Stars were not fazed as they manifested signs of being a well drilled and coached side whose philosophy is hinged on “tiki-taka” as their Coach-Coach Aliu had earlier mentioned.

It wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken. Passes from Oyinlola Abolaji, Hakeem Toheeb and Hamzat Ayomide kept splitting the low block of Redeemers FC and it was one of those passes, this time from Oyinlola Abolaji who gets the ball after a Redeemer FC corner is cleared to his path. He releases a pass which Yekeen Adetona latches to leaving him with the goalkeeper who he rounds before slotting the ball into the empty net.

Coach Aliu Post Match Interview

It wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken. Passes from Oyinlola Abolaji, Hakeem Toheeb and Hamzat Ayomide kept splitting the low block of Redeemers FC and it was one of those passes, this time from Oyinlola Abolaji who gets the ball after a Redeemer FC corner is cleared to his path. He releases a pass which Yekeen Adetona latches to leaving him with the goalkeeper who he rounds before slotting the ball into the empty net.
The goal left the Redeemers FC defenders teary eyed and the forwards bloodthirsty. Pass after pass, chance after chance, the coach cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines as his wingers kept lwtting him down on the final ball. His team’s goal finally came some minutes later. In similar fashion to that of the Rising Stars, Ojo Olamide intercepted a Rising Stars pass and passes the ball to Oladele Basit who is challenged by four Rising stars players but he makes minced meat of them before passing to Gbotemi Isaac who stretches hard to direct the ball past the goalkeeper.

Redeemers FC’s coach Post Match interview

At Nil Nil, the Rising Stars dominated and the Redeemers had spells of brilliant Counter attacks. The tune of the game didn’t change even at 1-1. During one of Rising’s spell of dominance, their midfield maestro Olalere Yusuff was fouled very close to the middle of the pitch and he had a freekick which he took with the poise and elegance of a maestro as the Redeemers FC goalkeeper could not reach it.

The tides turned in the second half as Redeemers FC who had grown into the game had the ball a lot more and dominated, showing that they can play well with the ball and without the ball. Lightening quick passes were exchanged among all parties on the pitch and a quick exchange of passes on the right side of the pitch left Gbotemi Isaac fouled for a Redeemers FC freekick. No 6 Dauda Rasheed who had been silent all game along confidently stood over the freekick and curled it to the top left corner of the post leaving the game at 2-2.

Quickly again, after the Rising centre pass, Akinola Israel releases Oladele Basit who has hectares of space down the left after leaving his marker for dead. He pushes the ball to his right foot and then slots the ball into the bottom left corner leaving the Rising defenders and goalkeepers astounded and devastated. Redeemers FC had chances to make sense of their dominance in the game but they kept fluffing their chances. Oladele Basit once gave a pass that left Isaac through on goal but his first touch was too heavy as it afforded the Rising Goalkeeper the time to clear the ball from danger.

Rising Stars kept pressing for their goal and they got it as Adekunle, their left winger whips a dangerous cross which meets Adetona Yekeen unmarked in the box as he slots a Van Persie-esque volley into the net for the equalizer. Redeemers FC thought they had a golden chance to win it deep into the game as Gbotemi Isaac was brought down in the Rising Stars box following a corner but the referee, upon consultation with his linesman concluded it was not a foul.

So 3-3 it ended. Both sides left the pitch with mixed feelings after the game, knowing that they could both have lost by huge margins and won by huge margins. Coach Aliu of Rising Stars commended his boys who had played despite having to participate in the annual Ramadan fast and Coach Joshua commended the zeal of his boys. Oyinlola Mobolaji of Rising Stars FC who was the man of the match also commended his team mates and assured that they could do better.

Match highlights

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