Newbies 96 Champions, Raineri FC and Alimosho Ladies were the big winners as The SociaLiga Football League, LigaSFL finally kicked off its Season 5 last Saturday at the Digital Bridge Institute (formerly Nitel) Pitch, Cappa, Lagos.
After a coronavirus-induced delay, Nigeria’s most difficult, competitive, and exciting semi-professional league is back and better with more excitement for the fans.
Matchday One couldn’t have started on a better note with an average of over 2.1 goals per game in the six matches played, which also produced some surprising results and excellent performances that entertained fans at Cappa.
Top of the bill was the performance from debutantes 96 Champions, who have started their journey with a comprehensive demolition of former champions, Dannaz FC, while the duo of Raineri FC and Women’s champions, Alimosho Ladies, also gave their fans something to cheer about with outstanding wins.
Now, here is a more detailed review of the games as they happened on May 22.
Citizens 2-2 Saints: Narrow Escape For Defending Champions Saints Against Citizens
The Saints Army were just two minutes away from a first-ever defeat on the opening day of the season but had their blushes saved by a last-minute spot kick from veteran Musa.
Their opponents, Citizens, were brilliant on the day, inspired by left-back Eshilama and debutant Dauda Johnson. The Proud Citizens dominated proceedings and deservedly took the lead when Dauda’s brilliant lob effort sailed into the net for a 1-0 lead.
Saints equalised moments later thanks to Kenny who reacted quicker to a loose clearance off a corner before Eshilama and Ariyo Abdullahi combined effectively to restore Citizens lead with a well-worked goal just before the break.
The second half was a more tightly contested affair, with both sides trying to add to the score line. However, with two minutes left to play, the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty in favour of the champions.
Musa stepped up to the plate to convert expertly to bring Saints level for the second time in the game as both teams held on for a share of the spoils.
Dannaz 1-3 96 Champions: Otubu Inspires Debantants To Opening Day Shock
The former LigaSFL champion was a menace as one of the newbies 96 Champions recorded the biggest shock of the season so far.
Otubu Mahmud put in a man of the match display to inspire the Champions to a comprehensive 1-3 victory over 2018 winners Dannaz on their LigaSFL debut.
He scored two goals and won the penalty that was calmly scored by his equally outstanding teammate Tomisin Alasiri to seal the win.
Abah John grabbed a consolation for the Cedars later in the second half but it was too late for any dramatic fight back.
After heating up everywhere with his pre-match press conference, a brilliant first half display from Olayinka Adiro’s men, with former SociaLiga winner Otubu playing a key role, propelled 96 Champions to a dream start to life in the Liga.
Alimosho Ladies 2-0 Dannaz Ladies: Simi Leads The Herds Over Dannaz Again
If one can read minds, then surely, we can tell you for free that Dannaz Ladies are indeed tired of their biggest rivals in the Women’s LigaSFL after they suffered another defeat to the Herds.
The latest is a 2-0 loss on the opening day of SociaLigaS5, with another inspirational performance from last season’s final heroine for the Herds, Okesiji Similoluwa.
Simi was just too hot to handle and opened the scoring on the day with a lovely tap in following good work from young captain, Ogundele Subomi.
Her partner in crime on the day this time was Adewumi Destiny, who sealed the win with the second goal and celebrated with tears in her eyes as Alimosho reaffirmed their dominance over the Cedars.
Raineri 2-1 Alimosho: The Ghosts Get One Over The Herds
This game was easily one of the most anticipated matches of the opening day of the SociaLigaS5 on Saturday.
After a goalless affair the last time both teams faced each other, these two finally produced the goods but there was a winner this time around as Raineri, who were without their manager, Ayere, defeated Alimosho 2-1.
Blak Haus 0-0 Atlantic Business: Atlantic, Blak Haus Share Spoils on Debut
On what were their respective LigaSFL debuts, Atlantic Business and Blak Haus cancelled each other out to register the first goalless draw of SociaLigaS5.
Both teams started brilliantly but at the end, with the Atlantic boys from Epe looking the more likely to open the scoring.
However, despite coming close on a few occasions, the Business side were unable to find a breakthrough as Blak Haus defended stoutly.
In the end, perhaps a draw was a fitting result for both sides and the deserved start to their Liga journeys.
All Black pp Egba City
The final match of the SociaLigaS5 MD1 ended rather abruptly after the game between All Black and the final debutants on the day, Egba City was postponed due to visibility problems.
However, before the suspension in the second half, both sides were locked at 0-0, as the game was one of a few chances.
This match has been rescheduled for completion at a later date.
From foreign objects in their food to time wasted, five Nigerians shared their experiences...
For weeks, Nigerians across the country have been calling for an end of abuse...
What’s going on? Yesterday, the Edo State Government announced the imposition of a 24-hour...