9th May, 2013
There is no doubt that this year’s Lagos State Challenge Cup, popularly known as Lagos FA Cup, lived up to expectations, but one thing football fans will remember the tournament for was the performance of grassroots clubs who took part in the annual competition.
City of David football team, COD defeated Mountain of Fire football team MFM 4-2 through penalty shootout to win their first ever FA Cup trophy on Sunday at the Agege Stadium.
Some of the grassroots clubs who featured in this year’s Lagos FA Cup justified their slots in the competition.
Messiah Football Club of Agege came to the tournament as unknown club, but they beat Christ Ambassador FC 2-1 in the preminary stage and almost defeated Bridge FC in the round of 32. Although they lost 1-2 to Bridge FC, fans who came to watch the tension soaked match applauded Messiah for their performance.
Bridge FC Coach, Lateef Daramola said he was surprised that Messiah could give his team a tough time throughout the encounter.
CMD United are not well known as far as grassroots clubs are concerned in Lagos. Against all odds, they went ahead and defeated the defending champions, First Bank 2-0 in the round of 32.
Before the encounter, nobody gave CMD United a chance to beat their opponents until they proved book makers wrong.
Another grassroots club that shone like stars in the sky are Kelly FC. The team have potentials to go far in the tournament, but lack of concentration of the players during their match made them lost 1-2 to LSDPC football team in the quarter final.
One thing about Kelly FC in the FA Cup was that they have good midfield, great strikers which really helped them to reach the quarter final stage.
Chairman of Kelly FC, Kelly Vincent said his team would have reached the semi final stage if not for his players who failed to play to instructions.
Yobo FC were another grassroots club that proved bookmakers wrong by reaching the semi final stage.
Yobo FC defeated another grassroots club, My People FC 4-3 on penalty shoot out to book a place in the semi final.
Their semi final match against professional club, MFM was one of the best matches played in the competition. Yobo FC, who reached the round of 16 last year gave MFM a good run for their money.
Yobo FC got an opportunity to beat MFM in the semi final having scored two goals in the encounter watched by over 500 spectators at the Agege Stadium. So sad for the team, they allowed their opponents to get equalisers in the added time to drag the encounter to penalty shootout.
One of the major factors that led Yobo FC to lose the final ticket was that the players lacked experience to curtail the MFM striking force in the last minutes of the tie. Secondly, the players were carried away with the two goals scored before their opponents cancelled the deficits.
Thirdly, the coaching crew of Yobo FC were bereft of ideas to read the match when the pressure was much on the team. Despite the fact that Yobo FC lost the semi final game, kudos should also be given to the grassroots club who almost upset MFM in the tenison soaked match.
P.M.NEWS Sports Grassroots Soccer Guide observed that the success some of the grassroots clubs recorded in this year’s Lagos FA cup was due to the matches which were played on astro turf. Secondly, some teams had good preparations while, the officiating was fair to all participating teams that took part in the championship.