Lintex Overrides Caverton as Challenge, Agad, Redefini Reach Silver Cup semis
Bello Buba was the star man as Lagos Lintex recorded a 12-6 ½ goal win over Lagos Riverlake Caverton in the Open Cup as the 2017 NPA Lagos Polo International Tournament majorly sponsored by GTBank hots ups.
Ibadan Jericho came off better 6-5 in their winner-takes-all encounter with Lagos Verdant to top League 2 of the Silver Cup. Kano Agad and Lagos Insight Redefini were the second placed teams in the Silver Cup which put them in the semifinal. STL will face Agad while Redefini confront Ibadan Jericho.
Today’s fixtures will also see Riverlake Caverton battle Leighton Kings for the Oba of Lagos Cup, which will have Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos in attendance.
Buba, the highest handicapped Nigerian player puts up a great display highlighted by the four goals he recorded in the high-tempo match which produced the highest number of goals so far at the 11-day tournament.
Caverton which paraded Yemo Alakija (+1), Rotimi Makanjuola (+1), Tobi Edun (+2) and Diego White (+6) got the first field goal of the match having started the match on a half-goal handicap. The goal came off White, who robbed Buba off the ball in the middle of the field to finish with style.
Buba responded with a goal; tapping in from a 30 yard penalty to end the first chukka 1 ½ – 1.
Lintex, who also paraded Baba Dangote (+1), Bashir Dantata (+3) and Halifa Ibrahim (+3) took the lead through Ibrahim after he stole the ball from White rolling the ball to the goal with relative ease. Moments after, Argentine Diego surprisingly missed a 30 yards penalty as scores remain 2-1 ½ to Lintex’s advantage.
Ibrahim then showed some great dribbling skills which saw him through to the goal area only for him to lose balance but managed to hang on his pony to the delight of the thrilled crowd.
Bashir got on the scoresheet to open the lead for Lintex and Alakija was unlucky not to score as his shot hit the upright and the rebound came off his horse to roll off the goal. Ibrahim managed to force another goal in just before the end of the chukka for a 4-1 ½ Lintex lead.
Buba and Dangote stretched the lead with early goals in the third chukka but Diego scored three times in succession to keep the scores marginal at 6-4 ½ only for Buba again to score his side’s seventh goal.
Ibrahim and Dangote bagged a goal each in the fourth chukka and the catalogue of close misses continue for Caverton as Edun sent his shot well off target having set up himself nicely. Edun went through the same experience again by failing to finish off an individual move but luckily, White was on hand to finish off the move to make the score 6 ½ – 9.
The final say, however, belong to Lintex as Ibrahim, Buba and Dangote scored the final three goals of the match – the last two coming in the fifth chukka.
In the match that came before the Open Cup, Ibadan Jericho took their chance as they opened scoring through Saidu Umar who went on a solo run taking advantage of their opponent, who are still setting up for the match.
The Lagos side was still changing their jersey which clashed with that of their opponent but the referee rolled in the ball to signal play and Umar, the hit man for Challenge slotted the ball calmly despite a last-ditch attempt by Glory Ebano.
Redefini were the suspired semifinalists edging Manarat to second place in League 1as they defeated Kano Nakudu 7-3 ½ .
The tournament which splits into two weekends also has Bell Oil & Gas, Veuve Clicquot, Old Mutual, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production, Southern Sun, Balmoral, Majekodunmi Family as co-sponsors while Wapic Insurance, Chapel Hill Denham, Metro Capital, Arbico, Elektrint Nigeria Limited and Elper Oilfield Engineering.