Survival Cup: Down to the Wire, Who Takes The Title Home?

By: Lawal Damilare

The past few weeks have seen 200-level students across the various departments in the University of Ibadan slug it out in the 200-level Survival Cup. It has been a battle of skills, sweat, and passion.

Just as the name of the competition implies – Survival Cup- it has been a real battle to stay alive in the competition. The survival cup this season has been dramatic and euphoric.

The competition has shown that the future of the round leather game at the University of Ibadan is rather promising, it has shown the hidden talents of UI’s second-year students and has sent a clear message to anyone who might have believed he had an unrivaled position in the school’s first team squad. This could well be the change the UI male team so desperately calls for; the end of a cycle of familiar faces and stagnant results. It has also created a platform for respective coaches to recruit fresh legs to their teams. 

Here is a brief recap on the road to the final and what has played out thus far :

Road To the finals

The competition has seen teams across various faculties compete to emerge champions. In this session, 23 teams entered the competition across the Faculties of Education, Law, Agriculture, Economics, Social Sciences,  Arts, and School of Medicine. Some teams are drawn from one department, while other teams are made up of two departments. A home-and-away system was introduced to determine the group stage and advancement to the next round. The game took an initial format of knockout, but due to the uneven number of teams, the organizers came up with a perfect plan to make the competition fair for all to compete. 

Twenty teams played knockout games, while the remaining 3 teams played in a separate group allowing for a maximum of two spots for qualification. 10 teams qualified from the first set of 20, through knockout, and the total number of teams moving to the next round became 12. 

 The Round of 12

12 Teams played again in a format that allowed for 6 teams to qualify automatically and 2 other spots made available for the best losers to get a chance in the next round. Adult Education ended their campaign after playing a draw (1-1) against PHARM/VET, losing (5-4) on penalties. 

WPE/RES also lost out to IPE on penalties after playing out a 1-1 draw after full-time.  However, the loss did not knock them out, just yet as the competition also employed the fair play rule as a further criterion for qualification. This saw Adult Education who did not pick up any card in their match, and WPE/RES who picked up just 1 card, qualifying as losers. They joined the other six to complete the eight available slots, leaving out ANS/AERD who recorded two cards in their round of 12 games.

The last eight for the quarter-finals are AEE/CIVIL, WPE/RES, BIONUT, ADE, PHILOSOPHY, PHARMVET, MBBS, and IPE. 

Can IPE do More  Better This Time?

Last session, IPE lost the final to Chemistry, but they would be looking to rewrite their mistakes, and they have just the right players for it. In their Arsenal, they have players like Kenneth, Vk, and Ephraim, who were all part of the team that reached the finals in the last session. 

As such, their experience is not in question. This season, they have been brilliant, as they made a statement in the opening game with a 5-0 win. They had a narrow win in the second round, but they made it into the last 8. With their quality and experience, they should have enough to perform magic.

However, this is not to rule out the chances of teams like CVE/AEE though. Both teams have had fantastic records in the past. The AEE team finished third in the CBN Cup last session, while their partners, the CVE team reached the semi-finals of the just completed Masters Cup. The team boasts of quality players like Ehis and Heskeyman, who have been integral to their play so far.

Philosophy and WPE/RES look good too. WPE were crowned champions of the just-concluded Masters’ Cup tourney. They are fueled by the tireless legs of Mjay and Ayodeji who have stood out in the competition. And merging with RES only shows how high their chances of winning the tournament are. 

ADE qualified as one of the best losers. And they may be considered as an underdog, but their group stage results are nothing to look away from. It is also expected that MBBS, BIO/NUT, and PHARM/VET will give a good fight for the trophy. 

Quarter Final Fixtures

In the next round, AEE/CIVIL face off against WPE/RES; BIONUT would take on ADE, PHILOSOPHY play PHARM/VET, while MBBS square off against IPE. The winners of game 1 would play the winners of game 2 for the first semi-final, while the winners of game 3 would play the winner of game 4 to close the action for the semifinals.


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