Ondo State All-Stars Tourney: Akure All- Stars 2-1 Ages -All Stars
By Femi Atolagbe
Ijapo Ages All- Stars football club narrowly lost to host team, Akure All- Stars with their heads high in the week four of Ondo State All-Stars Veterans football competition decided at the state Sports Complex, Akure.
Akure All- Stars scored from a spot two minutes from the kick off, while Ijapo Ages reacted swiftly to cut their jubilation short with a beautiful tee up that gave them the leveller through Akinniran Omotunla strike.
Moments later, Ijapo Ages rued many goal scoring chances that could have give them the lead in the first half.
Despite their inability to convert their chances they continued to mount pressure on their host which disorganised the stars studded Akure All -Stars to make a quick substitution.
The first 45 minutes of the entertaining encounter ended 1-1.
The beautiful football artistry continued at the resumption of the second half of the cargey encounter.
Akure All – Stars made some technical changes in their defence line to curtail the pressure from their visitor.
Both sides were carefully taking the game to each other, before Akure All – Stars benefited from an error that restored their lead, eight minutes to the end of the encounter.
Ages FC efforts to get a leveller were repelled by the Akure All-Stars, the match ended 2-1 in favour of the host team.
Meanwhile, NBA Sunshine had earlier lost 0-1 to Akure Veterans in the first game of the match day.
Sporting Hope in an interview with the Ijapo Ages All- Stars Coach, Dele Agboola commended his players for playing to instructions.
According to him, “we played very well, we were just unlucky to have conceeded those goals and rued our chances, we will go back home and restrategise ahead of our last group match , it’s not yet over.”
He added that “it’s not in my style to complain about officiating, but thank God the organisers and the spectators at the main-bowl saw what happened on the pitch, when Kolade Johnson in retaliation punched my player, Olaleke Karimu on the face and the center referee gave him yellow for offence that should be a straight red card by all standard”.
“As if that was not enough, another Akure All – Stars player also did same thing to the player for the second time and the Referee looked the other way as if nothing was happened”.
“This competition is not supposed to be a do or die affair but what happened on the pitch was not too encouraging.”
“While we commend the organisers for their innovation to bring every one onboard, we appeal to them to prevail on the officiating officials to be just to all the teams, Referee are the life wire of any competition ,they can make or mar any competition”.
“We are in the competition to enjoy ourselves and not otherwise, we want the state to know there are Veterans in Ijapo/Alagbaka axis”.