By Samuel Enogieru
The University of Benin Sports Complex witnessed a football fiesta in the first week of the Benin City Youth League concluded with an abundance of excitement, skill, and competitive spirit.
The youth league, featuring 14 energetic teams from around Benin City, has seen a spectacular display of talent, leaving spectators in awe and eager for more action-packed weeks ahead.
From the opening whistle, the teams took to the pitch with unbridled enthusiasm, setting the tone for an unforgettable tournament. The matches showcased the sheer passion and dedication of these grassroots footballers, who left no stone unturned in their quest for glory.
BJ FC 2 – 0 Eminence FC
Moses Kalu 35′, Dennis Paul 46′
The tournament kicked off with an intense clash between the defending champions, BJ FC and newcomers, Eminence FC. The match was a nail-biting affair, with both sides displaying exceptional skills and tactical acumen. In the end, BJ FC managed to secure a comfortable 2-0 victory setting the stage for a thrilling tournament ahead.
Ine Stars 1 – 3 Dynamo Academica
Obazee Odion 39′ – Joshua Akaebube 44, Emmanuel Nwokporo 48′, Loriam David 85′
Meanwhile, in another pulsating encounter, Dynamo Academica showcased their attacking prowess against the sturdy defence of Ine Stars. The match ended in a hard-fought 1-3 victory for Dynamo Academica coming from behind, which left spectators on the edge of their seats at the University of Benin Sports Complex until the final whistle. The passion and determination shown by both teams exemplified the spirit of grassroots football.
Eagle Wings 0 – 0 Rockers
A clash of football gladiators ended in a goalless draw with both Eagle Wings and Rockers failing to find the back of the net after 90 minutes of regulation time in Benin on Wednesday. Both teams took a point apiece after full-time.
Mission Side 2 – 0 Genesis
Otasowie Edemawota 79′ Markson Obinielu 90′
It was not just the established teams that stole the limelight, Mission Side made their presence felt during the opening week. The young talents of the side thrilled the stadia with their skilful ball control, while the energetic play helped them run out as 2-0 victors.
Yak Sports 2-0 Shooting Arrow
Chiza Onuoha 14′, Matthew Emmanuel 67′
Yak Sports also ran out 2-0 victors against Shooting Arrows. All thanks to Chiza Onuoha and Matthew Emmanuel whose goals were enough to secure maximum points under the splatters of rain in Benin.
Rolly FC 0-0 Worshippers
In a surprising turn of events, tournament favourites, Rolly FC managed a goalless against Worshippers in Benin with the spoils shared evenly between both sides.
Royal Force 3 – 2 Gabson
Godwin Victor 50′,55′,60′ – Kelvin Felix 4′ Emmanuel Aniete 86′
Godwin Victor was the name on the lips of many with his hat trick securing all newcomers, Royal Force needed to secure their first three points of the Benin City Youth League.
As the first week of the grassroots football tournament concluded, it became evident that this tournament is not just about the pursuit of victory, but also about fostering a sense of camaraderie and promoting the love for the beautiful game.
With the upcoming weeks promising more enthralling clashes and rising talents, football lovers can eagerly anticipate the continued spectacle and drama the Benin City Youth League has to offer.