By: Lawal Damilare
The University of Ibadan has once again witnessed loud cheers, bants, and this is especially because young football talents have been locking horns with each other in the school’s freshers inter hall competition.
Over the past few days at the SUB pitch,
The competition, which is the first of its kind, has so far received lots of commendations from people on campus, as it gives an opportunity to see fresh talents that could set the campus ablaze sport-wise for the next four, five, or six years of their academic journey. The
school team coach and captain, several faculty and departmental team coaches, and other scouts were even spotted amidst the cheering crowd, having come to see if the next “Messi” would finally emerge from UI’s green fields.
The competition kicked off on the 6th of September with the female category, which saw Queen Elizbeth beat Queen Idia in a 1-0 win. Both teams did not particularly impress, but Queens just did enough to claim the vital three points at the end of the day.
The male category commenced immediately afterward with Kuti and Bello sludging it out in a fierce fixture. Just 5 minutes of play though, Kuti smashed in an early goal.
However, Bello leveled the scores again at the 15th minute from a corner kick to keep the game alive. Both teams played really well, switching possessions several times, but still nobody could dig in to find a
winner in stipulation time, forcing them into penalties.
It was an enthralling encounter, but Kuti just managed to edge out their neighbour as it ended 7-6 via the shootout.
The second match for the day was Mellanby vs Great Independence Hall. The young Katanga Warriors struggled to pick up the pace early enough, but Mellanby failed to take advantage despite the early flurry of attacks.
Eventually, Indy found their rhythm but the first half ended in a deadlock. They took the momentum into the second half, and they got rewarded early as just 5 minutes in, Indy opened the scoring with a thunderous strike from outside the 18-yard box.
Mellanby made several attempts to respond to going down throughout the second half but they were all futile efforts as Indy made well to play a compact game afterward. Indy Hall saw out the lead and eventually emerged 1-0 winners.
The last game of the day commenced really late, and only the first-half was played out on that day, which saw Zik Hall hold Tedder to a goalless draw. The game then continued by exactly 11 A.M the next day. Both sides tried their best to find the back of the net, but Zik got the first goal after 15 minutess of play in the second half.
However, Tedder Hall responded at the 75th minutes to then drag Zik straight to penalty shootouts which they won 5-4, to book their place in the Semi-Finals.
The Semi Finals was played on Friday the Sept 8 at exactly 2pm, with Idia looking to face Awo in the females category, but the Awo team was not available and Idia walked effortlessly into the Finals by walkover rules.
Indy’s woes continue as Zik leave it late to book final spot
The highlights of the Semi-Finals was between Nnamdi-Azikiwe Hall and the Great Independence Hall.
In the University of Ibadan, there is no script that can be written without the fierce rivalry between both parties.
Both halls boast of the most population on campus. As such, there is always a serious rivalry between both. The memory of Indy’s loss to Zik at the last session’s SU elections is still fresh in mind.
It saw banters and some forms of shenanigans, which almost led to physical confrontations. So for the game between these two halls, it was something more than just football. It was about the conquest to protect pride and dignity, and the freshers were like pawns in it.
The game went on the way with much of the anticipated action to it. Both sides seemed equally matched as they created equal number of chances. However, Zik just looked a little stronger in the midfield.
After a goalless first half, the Balubites had more urgency in the second half, and they eventually scored, capitalising on a lapse in concentration in Indy’s defense.
Indy made frantic efforts to pull one back, but Zik just managed to hold their lines to see out the victory.
TEDDER LEAVES IT LATE TO PENALTIES .
In the other Semi-Final fixture for the day, Tedder had to rely on penalties to win again.
The match saw Kuti and Tedder play out a goalless draw in normal time. Then it went into a penalty shootout. Tedder edged Kuti out, winning the shootouts 5-4.
Their victory means that they will take on Zik again, this time, in the final of the competition.