Shooting Stars were already into the quarter-finals before their last group match against Sunshine Stars but the junior Oluyole Warriors pipped their Akure rivals 1-0 to round off the stage as leaders.
ABS and Remo Stars came into the game on the final day as pitching for the second qualification ticket after Shooting Stars qualified for the next round on Thursday. The Saraki Boys needed just a point to progress while Remo Stars must win to progress.
But it was a strike in the 23rd minute by David Okoromi that settled the scores in favour of ABS FC to secure passage to the last eight of the maiden edition of the tournament. A student of Taoheed Junior Secondary School, Ilorin, Okoromi’s goal was his second goal in the tournament after scoring the very first goal of the tournament in the group’s opening game against MFM.
ABS thus finished second with 9 points from four matches, while Remo Stars stayed in fourth position with four points from same number of matches.
“I am excited we won the game and progressed to the next round. Remo Stars came with huge confidence and we knew the game would be difficult. However, our instruction was that we should score first and put ourselves at advantage,” said Okoromi to npfl.ng after the victory.
Sushine Stars ended the tournament without a win after their fourth defeat in the match against Shooting Stars which ended 1-0.
Olubode Hassan had capitalized on a defensive slip by the backline of Sunshine Stars to score his fifth goal of the tournament which also turned out the winner against the Sunshine and the last goal of the group.
The win made it 10 points for Shooting Stars and the match winner, Olubode said: “Any game between Shooting Stars and Sunshine Stars are always like a derby which makes the encounter more difficult. We were able to score first and couldn’t find more after but we are happy to top this difficult group and reach the next round.”