The race they say is not for the swift, and the journey of many steps has a destination, and yesterday, the 8th of May, the Survival Cup ended.
The Survival Cup is a football tournament organized for 200-level students of the University of Ibadan. The competition was initiated by the SU Sports Secretary OJB.
The competition has hosted some of UI’s finest footballers and has served as a production chain for other Departmental teams, faculties, and the school team at large.
This year the tournament hosted a total of 23 teams with a knockout format to cater for the group stages. Several teams entered the competition across the Faculties of Education, Law, Agriculture, Economics, Social Sciences, Arts, and School of Medicine.
Some teams were 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 tournament took an initial format of knockout, but due to the uneven number of teams, the organizers structured it to make 20 teams play knockout games, while the remaining 3 teams played in a separate group, with the two top teams qualifying for the next round.
The last 12 engaged in another knockout round, with the six winners qualifying and the best two losers(using the fair play rule) qualifying for the next round.
The format alone shows how complex the competition was, nonetheless, everything was fixed well, albeit some glitches that occurred.
On Sunday the 7th of May, we were set to have the last dance, PHARMVET was set to face BIONUT for the finals. But as is customary, the third-place game between IPE and AEE/CIVIL went down first.
The third-place match kicked off late due to little delays from the organizers’ end.
From the first minute, IPE showed their class as they proved beyond doubt to be the better side of both teams, the midfield maestro Kenneth was up and about as he strung clever passes between the lines.
They soon broke the deadlock in the 15th minute, as Kenneth gave IPE the lead. IPE were all over AEE/CIVIL like a rash, and it soon became a rain of goals.
Goals from Bolu, Bliss, and Tolu ensured it ended 5 – 1, with Scott P scoring the only consolation for the AEE/CIVIL side.
The Final kicked off a few minutes after the third-place game. It was between BIONUT and PHARMVET.
The tension was obviously high at both ends of the pitch. BIONUT opened the scoring with a wicked strike from Chris.
However, PHARMVET responded well with a masterful header from Afeez to draw level. The game ended 1-1 after full time, and it went stradeadlock at both ends of the pitch and the game kicked off straight to penalties.
Andrew, Bobby Jay, and Jerry, all lost their first three penalties for BIONUT, while PHARMVET scored their first three penalties with Afeez, iffy, and Ay all converting theirs.
PHARMVET were hence crowned the new champions of the competition after BIONUT bottled three penalties.
Kenneth from IPE was the tournament’s highest goal scorer, Ayaose Moses was the manager of the tournament from BIONUT, and Pius from IPE was the highest assist provider across the competition.
Indy Press Correspondent spoke with Afeez the highest goalscorer of PHARMVET about the final and the experience, and he was excited. “ First of all, glory to God, AlhamduliLah Robil’alamin.
“I feel so excited to have won the Survival Cup this year against all odds. It was so memorable because no one was expecting us to win it.
“I had a cut in the middle of the match after being down 1-0 to BIONUT. I felt I couldn’t have worked so hard in the competition and only have to play the first half of the final and leave the pitch.
“So I mustered the courage to get back on the pitch with blood and pain and continued trying my best to get the team the equalizer at least.
“My respect to BIONUT, they were worthy opponents, and they gave their all. If there was a wish I could ask for, is for us both to be winners.”