Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL stars fought hard to retain their AMAPRO Football Championship title by defeating Amateur All-stars 1-0 at the Kwara state stadium under flood light on Saturday.
The game began with much intensity as both teams showed their attacking prowess in search for the ultimate price, winning the title.
The premier league stars dominated the early part of the game and did threatened Saka Ajanaku, who was in goal for the Amateur All-stars.
The Amateur stars found their rhythm with thirty minutes into the game, as they controled the middle of the park and also dictate the pace of the game but were unable to create any notable chance.
With Suraj Ayeleso a spectator all night, Jamiu Abdullahi’s effort which struck the cross bar with few minutes to the end of the first period is the closest the Amateur All-stars could reach.
Amateur All-star made four alterations at the start of the second period as, Shola Babatunde, Femi Balogun, Bala Muhammed and Saheed Kamorudeen, replaced Ibrahim Muhammed, Iyonu Muhammed, Abdullahi Ajetunmobi and Iliasu Isiaka respectively with three minutes into the second half.
The changes made improved the team’s performance as they played with a greater intensity but still lacked the cutting edge.
With 55minutes gone, NPFL All-stars introduce Wasiu Alalade and Wasiu Jimoh for Segun Alebiosu and Ajibola Otegbeye respectively.
The change proved to be a positive on the team, when Wasiu Alalade finished calmly past goalkeeper, Saka Ajanaku to give the premier league side the edge.
Amateur All-stars fought back to get the leveller but the premier league stars hold on to the slim victory and clinch their second successive #AMAPRO championship trophy.
Beach Eagles’ captain and Elkanemi Warriors midfielder, Isiaka Olawale won the Most Valuable Player of the championship.
Presenting the winners’ medal and trophy to the apex league stars, Kara Secretary to the State Government represented by Mr Gesinde Fregene commended the organisers, Phreestyle Sports for organizing such a laudable program which has further reduced the gap between the professional and non leaguers.
Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Phreestyle Sports, Shoggy Shodunnke thanked the sponsors and partners as well the participating players just as disclosed plans to make subsequent editions a global championship.
“With this year edition, we are closing up on bridging gaps between the so called professional footballers, the amateurs and non league players, we’ve seen how motivated the young players have been and the professionals have been supportive in interacting with the non leaguers, we want to see our grassroot players rapidly growing to become professionals and legends.
“We are grateful to God for the success of this year’s edition and our target for the next edition is to make a global tournament, we believe with support of everyone and stakeholders in the system, it will be achieved,” he said.
Dignitaries that graced the final includes the General Manager of Radio Kwara, Alhaji Abdullateef Adedeji, Director of Sports, Kwara State Sports Council, Mallam Tunde Kazeem, a former board member of Kwara FA, Pharmacist Olanrewaju Alege, Alhaji Modibo Sulu Gambari among others.