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Island Old Stars emerge as LaLiga Street Kings champions

aclsports.com 2024/2/24

Island Old Stars defeated Pinnock All-Stars in the final of this year’s La Liga Puma Ball Street Kings tournament to emerge as the winners of the competition for the first time on Sunday.

The Island All-Stars tournament, which was staged at the heart of Lagos – Pinnock Beach Estate Pitch, saw four different teams on the Island compete for honours at the event organized by LALIGA Nigeria as part of its activities to round up the year.

The participating teams in the second edition of the competition featured Pinnock All Stars, Emerald All Stars, Island Old Stars, and the inaugural winners Royal Gardens All-Stars. In the semifinal matchups, Pinnock All Stars walloped Emerald 7-3 before Island Old Stars beat Royal Gardens 2-1 to book their spot in the final.

Before the final took place, Emerald and Royal Gardens faced off in the third-place match and it was the latter who won 6-5 on penalties. In the highly contested final, Island Old Stars took out Pinnock 3-2 on penalties after it finished 1-1 in regulation time.

Speaking at the end of the competition, the LaLiga Country Manager for Ghana and Nigeria, Desmond Chiji spoke on the importance of the tournament and other plans lined up for the future.

“It is a wonderful opportunity and we are trying to use this to develop grassroots football and it is also an opportunity for them to showcase themselves on the Island. We are starting new but we want to build on that.” On a possible expansion, Mr. Chiji said “We want to build on this one we have started, by next year we should add two more teams and build on what we have done.”

“Before the end of the year, we will have some activations with the Nigeria Women’s Football League and we are also working on activation with the Nigeria Premier Football League. We still have about six months till the end of the season, we will be working on different activations before that time.

On his part, the President of Island Old Stars, Mr. Gabriel Arinze, praised his side for the win, while also commending LaLIGA for the successful hosting of the tournament.

“I am happy that we won. We have played against Pinnock FC three times – we won twice and drew once. So, it is a thing of joy that we won again today. LaLIGA have done a marvellous job and I hope they keep it up.”

Also, Pinnock All Stars’ president, Mr. Yomi Adeoye, was pleased with the competition and hopes his side can win the next edition.

“The competition was keenly contested by the four teams and the final between my team and Island Old Stars was also competitive as it ended in a penalty shoot-out. There was luck on their side but my team will be back to compete for the title next year. On the organization, LaLIGA have done a commendable job.”

After the games were concluded, individual prizes were given out as follows; Island Old Stars’ Kazeem Olayemi won the goalkeeper of the tournament award, Pinnock’s Bennet Obinna and Abubakar Suleiman won the top scorer and the best player of the tournament awards respectively.

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