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Bet9jaSociaLiga: Depleted Saints reclaim lost glory in drab final

Two-time (this will be scratched in seconds) winners of the Bet9jaSociaLiga, Saints FC, have reclaimed their title from Dannaz FC after a 4-2 penalty shootout win in the grand finale on Sunday.

Saints defeated the hitherto unbeaten holders on penalties following a rather listless final that ended goalless after extra time at the Nitel Pitch, Cappa, Lagos.

It was indeed an evenly balanced game from the two rivals who were too cautious of making mistakes.

Defending champions, Dannaz, were the obvious favourites going into the final showdown for the season, having defeated the Saints Army in their previous four meetings.

However, despite the fact Saints were without five key players, joint-top scorer, Adiro(injury), Otubu(injury), Zizou(On-call at work), Kenny, and Aturu(work), the Army was a hard nut to crack this time for Dannaz and won’t lay low and to be trampled upon for the fifth time by their ‘husband’, the Cedars.

Therefore, led by a defensive masterclass from centre-back Miji, the Millionaires put their lives on the line to hand manager, Mayowa, his first-ever title as a coach.

Both sides created few chances, with their goalkeepers called into action a number of times but the duo of Ebuka (Dannaz) and Ade (Saints), who was the busiest, were up to the tasks, pulling off some outstanding and remarkable saves.

With extra-time looming, fans at the Nitel Pitch hoped either of the two would get a winner, but it wasn’t meant to be as the final would be decided in extra time and possibly, penalties, which turned out to be the case.

Into extra time, the first half ended goalless and towards the end of the second half in extra time, Saints lost their brilliant goalkeeper to another injury, with the legendary Dolapo called upon to replace him.

Dolapo went on to become the hero, saving one of Dannaz penalties, with another by star forward, Joshua Obakimi, coming off the woodwork to send Saints and their fans into a frenzy for a 4-2 victory.

But it has to be said though, the final was rather disappointing at the end, the fireworks many expected from the fierce rivals were nowhere to be found as it ended goalless after extra time.

While it has always been a very close encounter between the two, with one goal always the difference, nobody expected the final to be so drudging.

However flat the final was, nobody at Saints will care at this point as the result means they become champions once again and for the third time in their history, reclaiming the title lost to then debutants, Dannaz in 2018.

MOTM: Miji

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