It was a one week of intense activities at Ilaji Stadium and Resorts Center, the venue of the maiden edition of the MASM (Madam Muslimat Agbeke Sanusi) Memorial Cup as the first of its kind tournament reached a crescendo yesterday.
At the end of the pulsating final match played yesterday, Delta State defeated their counterpart from Akwa-Ibom State via penalty shootout after the tough encounter had ended in a 2-2 draw.
The girls from both sides showed determination, confidence and team unity which made the encounter a balanced one.
In the ensuing penalty shootout, Delta State Goalkeeper saved two penalties which made her team to win on 5-3 aggregate.
Oyo State Commissioner for Youths and Sport, Bar. Yomi Oke, who represented Oyo State Governor, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi, presented the trophy along with the wife of the owner of Ilaji Stadium and Resorts Center, Mrs Sanusi Joyce, to the captain of the Delta State team.
Individual awards and cash prizes were given to the outstanding players and team “as a way of motivating the players and the officials of various team with a view to encouraging them to work harder”, said Engr. Dotun Sanusi.
Sanusi during his address urged football authorities at various levels in Nigeria to look towards grassroot football competitions for talents discovery as a way of bridging the gap between Nigeria’s national team and the football super power in the world.
According to him, grassroot competitions such as MASM will not only earn Nigeria massive foreign exchange but will also take away the country’s teeming Youths away from various vices which have been threatening the its existence.
He queried why Super Eagles, Nigeria senior national team, will continue to exit major competitions such as world cup in the group stage while teams with lesser population and talents will continue to excel at such competitions.
He, therefore, praised the conducts of all the participating teams and the officials throughout the duration of the competition adding that will discipline and hard work he will not be surprised if he sees some of the girls coming national team jerseys in the next couple of years.
He thereafter announced that after a detailed discussion with the YSFON officials they have agreed to conduct the Competition annually, adding that talks are ongoing with some west African countries with a view to make MASM an international event.
Earlier before the final match, third place match was played between Oyo State and Edo State with the latter winning the match through a penalty shootout.
The Edo state Goalkeeper who was given the award of the best Goalkeeper of the tournament made several heroics saves to make her team the third best team.