Remo Stars will now depend heavily on the results of other matches if they are to qualify for the semi-final round of the on-going Ottasolo Pre-season Tournament after they lost their second consecutive game to Smart City on Wednesday at the Legacy Pitch, National Stadium, Lagos.
The Sky Blue Stars had lost to MFM on Tuesday and were hoping to stage a comeback in the tournament but Lagos based Smart City had other ideas as they plan how to negotiate their qualification to the next round, too.
Smart City narrowly lost to Sunshine Stars in their first game on Monday but they stormed back to life with a 1-0 win over NPFL new entrants, Remo Stars. Habeeb Olaitan converted the only goal of the game from the penalty spot after he slotted the ball beyond the reach of Remo Stars goalkeeper, Timi Adeyoriju in the 15th minute.
After many failed attempts by both teams, Remo Stars were reduced to 10 when substitute goalie, Salami Kelvin was penalised for a foul on Amos Okoro in the 86th minute in the 18 yard box. Smart City’s Toheeb Sunkanmi missed the resultant spot kick a minute later.
There was no chance for Gbenga Ogunbote’s men to get a face saving draw and have been booted out of the tourney with no points from two games.
Earlier, the host team of the on-going Ottasolo Pre-season tournament, Ottasolo International FC forced their more illustrious opponent, Lobi Stars, to a 1-1 draw at the Legacy Pitch, National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, in the first game of the MatchDay 3.
Ottasolo drew their first game with 36 Lions while Lobi secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over Yobo FC on Tuesday. Both teams were looking for a win that will move them closer to the semifinal stage of the maiden edition of the tournament.
Both teams came out smoking as they continue to look for the opening goal but failed to come until the 23rd minute when Ottasolo FC’s Jelili Moshood put the ball beyond the reach of his goalkeeper, Korede Shodipo in his attempt to clear out Lobi’s goal-bound effort.
The newly promoted Nigeria National League side didn’t allow the goal to weigh them down as they continued to pile on the pressure which paid off just three minutes later as Ogunjimi Samuel headed Ottasolo back into the game after he connected a lovely cross from Issah Mohammed.
While in another game also decided on Wednesday, Yobo FC put themselves in a better position to qualify for the semi-final of the pre-season tourney after a 2-1 win over 36 Lion.
Godwin Arewa put Yobo FC in the ascendancy with the opening goal of the game in the 23rd minute. It was their first goal in the tournament. Gift Nwokeke increased the goals tally in the 60th minute for Yobo FC but Raji Olamuyiwa reduced the goals deficit in the 70th minute to make for a frenetic final 20 minutes at the Legacy Pitch, National Stadium, Lagos.
On Thursday, Yobo FC and Ottasolo FC will slug it out in their final Group A game with both teams needing positive result to progress. The host, Ottasolo FC with two drawn games are under compulsion to beat Yobo FC to progress to the semi-final while Yobo FC with three points must also secure the maximum points to be certain of qualification irrespective of the result of Lobi Stars vs 36 Lion on Friday.
Smart City will also on Thursday face MFM in their third and final Group B tie. Both teams are on three points but Smart City have played a game more. Both are Lagos based clubs but Smart City will be eager to pick the maximum points that should be sufficient for a place in the semi-finals while the Olukoya Boys can’t afford to lose knowing that their final group game comes up on Friday against tough Sunshine Stars.
Remo Stars with two losses are close to being bundled out of the tournament but they will trade tackles with Sunshine Stars also tomorrow with the sole aim of fighting until the end of the group stage if they could get an outside chance to qualify.
The Ottasolo pre-season tournament is in its debut edition with the owner of Ottasolo FC, Gabriel Davies as sponsor.
Ottasolo Pre-season Tournament:
Ottasolo FC 0-0 36 Lion
Lobi Stars 1-0 Yobo FC
Sunshine Stars 1-0 Smart City
MFM 1-0 Remo Stars
Ottasolo FC 1-1 Lobi Stars
36 Lion 1-2 Yobo FC
Smart City 1-0 Remo Stars
Day Four (November 4) Fixtures
Yobo FC vs Ottasolo FC 9.00 am
Smart City vs MFM 2.00 pm
Remo Stars vs Sunshine Stars 4.00 pm