Fisayo Akinduro, Osogbo
An injury time spot-kick, perfectly converted by the mercurial midfielder and former Super Eagles Captain, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha was all what Osun Executives needed to coast home a victory over the Legislature in a novelty match played at the Osogbo Township stadium on Wednesday.
The match, organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development was part of activities marking the 2nd anniversary of Governor Gboyega Oyetola’s administration where ex-internationals such as Ike Shorunmu, Mutiu Adepoju, Duke Udi, Bright Omokaro, Femi Opabunmi and several others featured.
Possession in the first half of the encounter went in favour of Osun Parliament whose goalkeeper, Ike Shorunmu prevented Okocha, Femi Opabunmi, Bright Omokaro, as well as the Commissioner for Works Engr. Remi Omowaye, his Colleague in the Youth and Sports Ministry, Yemi Lawal together and the Special Adviser, Gboyega Adelabu from causing any havoc.
Speaker of the House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye was the star of the game as he was a thorn in the flesh of O’ Exco defenders with his strong, left footed shots and dribbles.
Jay Jay Okocha took control of the ball from the blast of the whistle in the second half and provided several assists which were wasted before Muyiwa Lawal was brought down in the 18 yard box by the helpless OSHA goalkeeper.
The former PSG and Bolton midfielder, Okocha was unarguably chosen by thousands of spectators chanting his name.
The former Eagles captain didn’t disappoint his fans as he perfectly converted the spot kick to send the tumultuous crowd into a wild jubilation.
Efforts by Mutiu Adepoju, Duke Udi, Dimeji Lawal, Friday Ekpo as well as Niran Atidade, and the Speaker to equalise proved abortive until the referee blew the final whistle.
Governor Oyetola, who joked that the Exco’s victory was a beautiful revenge of last year’s loss to the Lawmakers lauded the two teams and commended the ex-internationals for associating and celebrating with him.
The Governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to sports and embark on policies and programs that will uplift the progress and development of grassroot sports across Osun.
“I am happy with the results of the match and I want to congratulate the two teams, particularly the soccer Icons for entertaining the crowd with artistic displays. We shall continue to invest in sports to create platforms for our teeming youth to be positively and appropriately engaged so that they can contribute meaningfully to the growth of our economy,” said Mr. Oyetola.