Sporting Dreams win maiden edition of Stephen Keshi Under-17 Cup

By Daily Sports on June 8, 2018

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Abuja-based Sporting Dreams academy have emerged the winners of the first edition of the Stephen keshi under-17 memorial Cup in Benin City. 
In a pulsating final match played Thursday evening  at the Crescent Sports Club pitch in Benin City, Sporting Dreams beat hard fighting BJ Foundation FC of Benin City 5-4 on penalties after regulation time ended 1-1. 
Sporting Dreams and BJ went for each other's jugular in the opening half of the game, with ended to end football action on display. 
The first half ended scoreless but Sporting Dreams shot into the lead early in the second half courtesy of a neat finish through Usman Ajanaku. 
BJ fought back gamely and were rewarded four minutes from time with a beautifully headed goal to get the equaliser. 
In the ensuing penalty kicks, Sporting Dreams held their nerves better to triumph 5-4. 
The tournament which was put together by retired Nigerian football professionals to honor late Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi was a big success. 
The participating grassroots clubs were drawn from different parts of the country and there were a number of very exciting talents from goalkeepers to defenders as well as midfielders to attackers who caught the eyes. 
One football scout opined: "I can see already some very good young players with a bright future in the game. I was very excited with the quality of some of the players. "
The organizers of the tournament have already shortlisted a number of players who shone at the tournament to play a friendly game against the Golden Eagles team currently being assembled by coach Manu Garba and it is the hope that some of them can force their way into the thinking of the under 17 coach. 
Amongst the shortlisted players are Benin Warriors FC players Desmond Oji and Jeremiah Salami who were both loaned for the duration of the tournament to Aidia Sports Academy who reached the semi finals of the competition. 
Jeremiah Salami, a petit creative midfielder, showed composure and vision in his ball control and passing, playing in a way that was very pleasing in the eyes. 
Desmond Oji shone in attack as his mesmeric dribbles caused serious problems for opponents during the competition. 
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has paid tribute to the memory of late Stephen Keshi. 
“Today we remember Nigeria and Africa football legend, Late Coach Stephen Okechukwu Keshi who passed on, on this day in 2016. Thank you for the memories ‘The Big Boss.’ We can never forget you,” a tweet on the NFF’s official Twitter handle reads.
Born on January 23, 1964, the former Super Eagles defender represented Nigeria at four Africa Cup of Nations competitions (1984, 1988,1992 and 1994) and played one game at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA.
Keshi led Togo as coach to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany and also led Nigeria to win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. He also won the Africa Cup of Nations title as a player in 1994.
The organizing committee members of the Stephen Keshi Cup included coach Godwin Izilein as Chairman, Danladi Musa, Stephen Cole, David Aigbovo, a representative of the Stephen Keshi family, Edo FA Scribe, Emmanuel Ajibola, Harrison Iyomana and former Super Eagles Media Officer, Ben Olaiya. 

 

Source Daily Sports

Posted June 8, 2018

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