The maiden Platinum Cup preseason tournament climaxed on a high and it was Rolly FC who have their name registered as the winners of the tournament which had the top football personalities of the state in attendance.
It was an intense and thrilling final of the maiden edition of Platinum Cup 2023 that saw two evenly matched teams battle it out for the unique title. The game which was destined to be decided by penalties saw the pre-season scouting tournament organised by Platinum News end in style.
The final game started at a frenetic pace with Rolly FC and Eagle Wings looking to take the early advantage. The defences of both the teams kitted in the official jersey Platinum News were solid, and neither side could create any clear-cut chances. The midfield battle was intense, with both teams fighting for every ball and trying to gain control of the game.
As the game progressed, the tension at the University of Benin Sports Complex grew, and the pressure began to mount on both teams. The attackers started to take more risks, and the defenders were forced to be even more vigilant. However, despite their best efforts, neither team could break the deadlock, and the game ended goalless after 90 minutes.
With the title on the line, the game went straight into a penalty shootout and the players dug deep to find the luck needed. The penalty shootout was nerve-wracking for both sets of supporters and team managers, as they watched their players step up to take their spot-kicks.
The first penalties for both teams were successful, but then, the pressure got to some of the players, and they missed their shots. Ugiagbe Aisosa’s spot kick for Eagle Wings went wide which gave Rolly an advantage. Osazuwa Edowonyi however restored parity as he dived right to save Rolly’s Victor Ikpowonsa kick. But, the joy was shortlived as Rolly’s goalkeeper Precious Ezekiel saved the next spot kick.
It all came down to the final penalty, and the tension was palpable. The midfielder for Rolly FC, Tyonengi Ben stepped up, and the crowd held their breath. He took a deep breath, composed himself, and struck the ball confidently into the top corner of the net. The crowd erupted with joy as Rolly won the first-ever Platinum Cup.
Overall, it was a fantastic final, played with passion, commitment, and skill. Both teams can be proud of their performances, but it was Rolly that prevailed in the end, winning the title on penalties. It was a fitting end to a wonderful tournament, and the supporters of Rolly will remember this victory for years to come.
Present at the final game was the Edo State Sports Commission Permanent Secretary, Mrs Sabina Chikere alongside her husband, Mr Chikere who presented medals and trophies to various winners in the competition.
In a remark, Mrs Sabina commanded the organizers and congratulated them for a successful tournament hosted. She however demanded more and a better tournament in subsequent editions.
Also present at the final were top sports journalists in the state amongst who are David Alabi, Nosa Igunma, Sharon Ekhiwere, and Benjamin Oboh. Also, an aspirant for the Edo State Football Association Chairman position, Mr Fred Newton was in attendance.