Newly promoted Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side, Sporting Lagos, on Sunday, defeated 2023 NPFL runner-up, Remo Stars of Ikenne, 4-2 on penalties, to emerge maiden Naija Super 8 champions.
With the victory, the Lagos side received the prestigious tournament trophy, and a N25m prize money. This was in addition to the N12m earned for their four previous matches at the tournament. For emerging the runner-up, Remo Stars also received N9m in addition to the N12m earned in their four previous Naija Super 8 matches.
The highly tensed match at the full capacity Mobolaji Johnson Arena, ended 1-1 in regulation time. During the entertaining encounter, Saturday Okon forced Remo Stars goalkeeper, Kayode Bankole, into a fingertip save with a fierce shot in the 10th minute. Isaac James responded with a powerful header against the crossbar in the 19th minute.
Aliu Salawudeen opened the scoring in the 53rd minute, poking home a rebound from a corner kick. The Paul Offor boys nearly doubled their lead in the 59th minute, when Jonathan Aluku’s long range shot was tipped over by the Remo Stars goalkeeper.
Saturday Okon, had a great chance to score the second goal, but put his effort over the bar, after a mix-up between a Remo Stars defender and the goalkeeper gifted him the chance.
Remo Start soon bombarded the Sporting Lagos goal in search of the equaliser. After being denied by an offside flag in the 88th minute, Remo Stars struck the equaliser in the 95th minute through substitute, Adams Olamilekan, to send the match to penalties.
In his post-match press conference, a visibly elated Paul Offor said: “We came to this competition, and we were fortunate to play the best teams in the country. To be champions is amazing for us. We gained promotion this season, and we also won our first trophy as a club. What I saw today was massive.
“Moments in the game I looked at the crowd and I was stunned. Organisers of this competition should be proud of themselves. Their ability to organise this and pull the crowd like they did. This is football, with passion. This is how it should be. The fans love it and the players love it. I hope this tournament will continue,” he said.
Remo Stars coach, Daniel Ogunmodede said his teams has leant a lot from the tournament. “It’s a properly organised competition. From security to everything, kudos to the organisers. We have leant from this tournament as a team. At times, what you deserve you don’t get it. In the Super 6 we ended strongly, and we’ve finished strongly again in this tournament. I’m happy for the fans and what I saw today. It’s marvelous,” he said.
Naija Super 8 was organised by Flykite Productions in partnership with MultiChoice Nigeria and sponsors, MTN, Hero Lager, DStv, GOtv, SuperSport, Moniepoint, Pepsi and Custodian Assurance