By Sedara Philip
Beyond Limits became the first team to record three wins out of three matches in the group phase of the Optima Energy Gold Cup, as Biliaminu Abdullahi’s sensational effort from 19 yards nailed Ijebu United in a thriller at the Remo Stars International Stadium in Ikenne.
It was a top of the table clash between two Ogun State football teams, and it lived up to the hype in the final game of the group.
But it was Beyond Limits that claimed the bragging rights, to go top on the log of their group with 9points while Ijebu United settled for second with 6points from two wins, as former champions Sunshine Stars got their first win beating Hammola FC by a lone goal to finish third and fourth respectively.
After a thrilling 85 minutes of quality football from both teams, the last five minutes was a soaked tensed but it was Biliaminu who made his Beyond Limits look unstoppable, after he made the most of a set-piece from his team’s half to lash a wonder strike in between a helpless Ijebu United goalie for what could be the goal of the tourney in the 87th minute.
The strike sees Biliaminu lead the race for the Optima Energy Gold Cup golden boot with four goals and one better than Ijebu United’s Ifeanyi Ihemekweele who bagged a hat-trick in the 6-1 thrashing of Hammola FC.
Beyond Limits will wait till Wednesday to know if they will take on Tradesafe FC, former champion Niger Tornadoes or FC Ebedei in the semi-final, while Shooting Stars who top Group B will host Ijebu United for a chance to make it into three consecutive Optima Energy Gold Cup final.
The trio of Tradesafe FC, Tornadoes and FC Ebedei need a win to join 3SC in the last four of the 11th edition of the nation’s esteemed pre-season tourney.