BY JUBRIL AROWOLO
For the sixth consecutive year, Shooting Stars and Crown FC will play in the final of the Oyo State FA Cup final. The two state owned club sides have stamped their authorities on this competition by making it impossible for other rivals to break their authority.
But the pendulum swings more to Crown of Ogbomosho who have won in three of the last five final matches since the 2012 that the rivalry began.
The more popular Shooting Stars won in 2012 and 2015. Will Crown FC crown their dominance with yet another victory this year? That is left for answer on Sunday when both meet on the familiar turf of Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan.
The Spartan turf of Lekan Salami Stadium which had been the battle ground for many well fought football wars has almost become ‘a no-man’s land’ for the two contending sides having served as the venue for all the participating club sides since the beginning of this competition.
This is the background of this epic final and both teams are not toying with the outcome of the encounter, giving all the attention it deserves.
For the Shooting Stars, it is a tie they want to win going by the available records of trailing their Ajilete brothers with two wins out of five in their past meetings. Determination was almost visible on the faces of Shooting Stars players who are more than determined to turn around the spate of bad results they have had in the first stanza of the Nigerian league.
Even the coach is not left behind in the strong resolve to overcome Crown FC. Technical Adviser, Fatai Amoo was in charge during the 2013 loss to the Ajilete Boys and seems to be wary of history repeating itself!
“It is a big match for us; Crown FC has won more than us in our five meetings. My last time here could still be remembered when they beat us via penalty shootout. Gbolahan Salami and Kabiru Alausa (one of my assistant coaches now) lost theirs”, Amoo said to www.3sc.com.ng.
Toeing the same line of thought is the head coach, England-trained Edith Agoye who believes that the game will bring out the best in his players in preparation for the league resumption.
“Anytime, any day Crown FC is a serious opponent and we can’t take them with kid’s glove. I have told the players and my coaches about the seriousness of this match, we shall give it our best and it’s going to be interesting “, he remarked.
“We are always ready and considering the fact that Crown FC has been winning the FA Cup that’s something that gives us extra motivation.
“And as well, this might probably be the last competitive match before the resumption of the second and players are vying for shirts and they know it’s a big opportunity to pick a place when the second round comes. So, all hands are on deck”, he concluded.