Ilaji FC beats Shooting Stars to Oyo FA Cup title

Ilaji Football Club on Sunday in Ibadan won the 2024 edition of the Federation Cup competition in Oyo State by slaying giants Shooting Stars FC.

The lower league side beat the Nigeria Premier Football League side 5-4 on penalty kicks following a 3-3 draw after 90 minutes of play.

In the competition’s final match played at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ilaji FC came from behind to take the lead two times and kept the Shooting Stars on edge throughout.

Ifon Pepo gave Shooting Stars the lead after 13 minutes with a composed finish, sending in a low shot to the near post from just inside the penalty area.

He had turned brilliantly with the ball to send two defenders the wrong way after he received a pass completely unmarked.

But Babalola Okikiola drew Ilaji FC level in the 30th minute to stun the top-flight league side.

He went on to leave the Shooting Stars fans-dominated crowd stupefied about a minute later with his second goal to make scores 2-1.

Shooting Stars captain Taofeek Malomo drew his side level in the 61st minute with a low shot from the right side.

But Okikiola was not done yet, and he was on hand five minutes later to make it a hat-trick on the day for himself.

Ayobami Junior cancelled out the lower league side’s lead in the 72nd minute with a swerving shot from the middle, leaving the game balanced on a thin edge.

Ilaji FC went on to keep their cool during the penalty kicks shootout to utilise all their shots, while the Shooting Stars missed their third kick.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the win helped Ilaji FC to wipe away the memories of losing 0-1 to the same foes at the same stage in 2023.

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