Naija Super 8: Remo Stars suffer shock loss to Sporting Lagos
Written by Teniola Akerele on July 12, 2023
Nigerian Premier League runners-up Remo Stars suffered a shock 2-1 loss to newly promoted NPL team Sporting Lagos in a Group A game at the Naija Super 8.
In what is fast becoming a fascinating and interesting football carnival at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Onikan, yesterday’s first game in the biggest off-season tournament in the country not only produced a breathtaking end-to-end attacking masterclass but also the standout result so far in the event, which enters its sixth day today.
Having beaten Enyimba and drawn against Katsina United in their first two matches, Remo Stars entered the duel with Sporting Lagos with the aim of sealing qualification to the semifinals and that script appeared to be taking shape when they shot into the lead on 17 minutes after Farnk Mawena headed the ball into the net of Sporting Lagos, leaving goalkeeper Eno Christian empty handed.
But prodded on by their teeming fans, Sporting Lagos fired back with an equaliser 25 minutes into the game, as Saturday Okon expertly converted a fine finish against the run of play. Goalkeeper Kayode Bankole who stood in between the sticks for Remo Stars had no answer to the finish.
Tagged the battle of the two privately funded teams in the Nigerian league, both teams went in search of the winning goal on resumption of the second half, with Remo Stars looking the more ambitious team in attack but they were denied of a couple of scoring chances by goalkeeper Christian, who stood tall in between the sticks at the Onikan waterfront.
And just when it seemed the teams would share the spoils, Sporting Lagos landed a sucker punch on Remo Stars in the 90th minute as Chiemeka Nwokeji scored from a rebound after his initial penalty kick was stopped by goalkeeper Bankole.
The goal sparked celebrations amongst the Sporting Lagos fans and despite goalkeeper Christian being sent off for time wasting in injury time, which added to the drama and sub-plots of the fixture, Sporting Lagos held on to record a fantastic 2-1 win over Remo Stars, who alongside Enyimba will represent Nigeria in next season’s CAF Champions League.
Sporting Lagos now has four points after two games, with a game to play against Katsina United while Remo has four points from three games.