July 16, (THEWILL) – Sporting Lagos, a recently promoted team in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL), clinched a remarkable victory on Sunday, defeating Remo Stars of Ikenne, the runner-up of the 2023 NPL, in a thrilling match that ended 1-1 in regulation time.
The encounter, tagged the Southwest Derby, was held at the packed Mobolaji Johnson Arena and was eventually decided through a penalty shootout, with Sporting Lagos emerging as the inaugural Naija Super 8 champions. This victory, not only earned them the coveted tournament trophy, but also a substantial N25 million prize. Meanwhile, Remo Stars received N9 million for finishing as the runner-up, in addition to the N12 million they earned throughout the tournament.
The game was filled with exhilarating moments, showcasing the talents of both teams. Saturday Okon of Sporting Lagos came close to opening the scoring with a fierce shot in the 10th minute, only to be denied by an acrobatic save from Remo Stars goalkeeper, Kayode Bankole. In the 19th minute, Isaac James of Remo Stars responded with a powerful header that rattled the crossbar. The deadlock was eventually broken in the 53rd minute when Aliu Salawudeen of Sporting Lagos pounced on a rebound from a corner kick.
However, Remo Stars fought back and equalised in the 95th minute through substitute, Adams Olamilekan, sending the match into a tense penalty shootout, which went the way of Sporting Lagos as they successfully scored four penalties during the shootout, while Christian Nwoke, their goalkeeper, prevented Remo from scoring their first and fourth penalty kicks.
After the match, a visibly elated Paul Offor, coach of Sporting Lagos, was joyful and appreciative for the tournament. He commended the organisers for their remarkable efforts in staging such a successful event, stating that it elevated the passion and love for football in the country.
Offor harped on the significance of winning the tournament, highlighting how it marked their first trophy as a club following their promotion this season. He concluded with the hope that the Naija Super 8 would continue in the future. Remo Stars coach, Daniel Ogunmodede, also praised the competition’s organisation and the learning experience it provided for his team, adding that they finished strongly while appreciating the support of fans throughout the tournament.