Ilaji FA Beat Shooting Stars To Emerge Oyo State FA Cup Champions

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A Nigeria League One side, Ilaji Football Academy defeated Shooting Stars Sports Club on Sunday to win the 2024 Oyo State Federation Cup.

The game which won on penalties ended 3-3 at the regulation time.

At the end of the tension-soaked match decided at the Main bowl of the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba and watched by a capacity crown of football enthusiasts, the NLO side Ilaji FC displayed quality soccer artistry to the consternation of the pundits who has predicted a win for 3SC.

The coach Babatunde Odubola led boys beat high-flying Shooting Stars via penalty shootout to win their first state FA Cup title. The two teams had played 3-3 at the regulation time before the match was decided via penalty shootout which ended 5-4 in favour of Ilaji FC.

Reacting, Sanusi the owner of the Club who is known for his untiring efforts at discovering talents at his globally-renown Ilaji Sports Centre, described the victory as commendable and inspiring for his boys.

Dotun Sanusi said, “I am happy our Team, Ilaji FC made us proud by emerging victorious in this year’s FA Cup. They have been appearing at the FA finals before now but somehow, they have emerged runners-up but today, we are the Champions.

“The Coach, Babatunde Odubola, all the technical team and coaching crew including supporting staff and the players themselves deserve our special appreciation. They have done us proud and our efforts on the team are yielding fruits.

“It is a day to remember for good; not only that today is Easter Sunday when all of us are celebrating our Lord Jesus Christ, it is also a day in history that would go down as a watershed one for Ilaji FC.

“Special thanks to the officials of today’s match and our supporters across the length and breadth of Ibadanland and beyond. Shooting Stars is also my darling Team as a major stakeholder in sports development in Ibadan, Oyo State and Nigeria as a whole.

“There is no Victor, and no vanquish. It is all for football development. God bless everyone who made this possible for us. We will continue to contribute our quotas towards the development of our youths and general wellbeing of our dear State,” Sanusi, Jagun Olubadan of Ibadanland added.

While the match lasted, Shooting Stars opened the scoring through Pepo in the 14th minute while Babalola Okikiola equalized for the NLO side in the 30th minute.

Okikiola got his second goal 2 minutes later to give Ilaji FC the lead as the first half ended 2-1.

Shooting Stars captain Taofeek Malomo equalized for the Oluyole Warriors in the 63rd minute.

Babalola Okikiola completed his hat-trick in the 65th minute to give Ilaji FC the lead once again, Ayobami Junior ensured the lead was short-lived by scoring a stunner in the 70th minute as both teams settled for a 3-3 draw in the regulation time.

Ilaji FC secured the hard-fought victory by winning 5-4 after a penalty shootout to record a historic day in the history of the club.

Both teams will represent Oyo State at the National Federation Cup later this year.