By Sedara Philip
Beyond Limits has claimed its first Optima Energy Gold Cup after three attempts with a victory over Ijebu United, to claim the bragging rights of the southwest derby final on Saturday at the Remo Stars International Stadium in Ikenne, Ogun State.
The Young Sky Blue Stars started brightly and were reeled into the game by the quick pace, dazzling moves and delightful passing of the trio of Onyebuchi Obasi, Farouq Ogundare and Olude Muyideen; which were much to bear for Ijebu United backline, as they dictated the tempo at which they wanted the game to be played.
Super sub and tournament top scorer, Biliaminu Abdullahi sent fans at the stadium to a frenzy as he struck the decisive blow from 20yards in the 41st minute, which deflected off an Ijebu United defender for the first goal just before half time.
It was Biliaminu’s second goal against Ijebu United after his first in the last Group A game and his fifth in the 11th edition of the Optima Energy Gold Cup pre-season tournament.
Ijebu United had their own fair share of the first half, and should have gone ahead in the 34th minute, after Chika Collins took on his man and found himself some space in Beyond Limits box, to pulls the trigger but his effort went off the woodwork marginally, thus leaving Daniel Aiyenugba no trouble in goal.
The second half was as entertaining as the first but Ijebu United failed to make it count in the one hour mark, as Collins Chika finds himself in space after receiving an assist from his teammate but he put his effort inches wide from goal.
As both teams press for another goal, Ganiyu Odumade was the hero for Ijebu United who should have been two goals down four minutes to end the game, as his reflex saves twice denied Mogaji Ridwan from pointblank.
Biliaminu’s strike was enough to seal the trophy, sum of One Million for his team as he picked up the top scorer award and most valuable player award for himself, while Ijebu United took home Five Hundred Thousand Naira (500,000) for emerging as runner-up.