Shooting Stars became the first team to progress to the semis of the Ogunjobi Gold Cup after they beat Niger Tornadoes by a lone goal at the FC Ebedie Stadium, Sagamu.
When both met at the Nigerian National League (NNL) Super 8 play-off final in Enugu two months ago, Tornadoes defeated 3SC 3-2 to emerge champions of the country’s second division league.
Saturday’s Matchday 2 fixture at the pre-season tournament saw both teams renew their rivalry, and the Oluyole Warriors took their pound of flesh off the Ikon Allah Boys.
Lucky Jimoh in goal for Tornadoes will rue his mistake in the 26th minute after he agonizingly spilt an easy catch from a set-piece on the part of Wellington Ebiahi.
In a swift response, the 3SC recruit wasted no time, as he calmly smashed the ball into the net for the first goal of the game.
As play continued, Tornadoes thought they had been awarded a penalty in what looked like a mere contact between 3SC captain, Waheed Omololu and an in rushing Ikon Allah midfielder inside the box.
But the referee felt otherwise, as he ignored the call but booked the Tornadoes player for a dive.
At the restart of the second Martins Usually could have equalized for Tornadoes in the 47th minute but his point-blank shot was dealt with by Detan Ogundare.
As the two teams further pressed for another goal, it was a little too late for Tornadoes who felt hard done by the match official decision not to award them a penalty in the first half after the blast of the final whistle.
With the victory, Shooting Star who have now garnered 6points from two games will slug things out with Beyond Limits in the final Group B at the FC Ebedie Stadium on Monday.
The country’s first pre-Season tournament is sponsored by Optima Energy, and its proudly supported by Alansmith Nigeria Limited, Taiwo Joseph Ogunjobi Foundation, Nigeria leading sportswear firms, Owu, Haggai Sportswear, Afripro, Naija League Magazine, Matchroom, Sports, 11th Media Global Concept, Freestyle Sports, Renewed Hope, Kao Concept, Seyi Akinwunmi Charity Foundation, Dejavu Communication, Olansile Football Academy, TSI Football Academy and ITS Football Management.