By Emmanuel Okogba
Two goals were enough for defending champions Lesotho as they brushed aside Ghana to win the 34th Ajegunle Mock Nations Cup on Sunday.
The final which was played at the Nigerian Navy playground in Ajegunle was the first since 2019.
[ALSO READ] Bale ‘towards end of career’, admits agent
At the resumption of hostilities after a barren first half, Lesotho took the game to their opponent and opened scoring in the 58th minute with a clinical finish by Idara Friday.
Alabi Akpatapiti doubled his side’s lead with a tap-in in the 77th minute after he was left unmarked by ball-watching Ghanaian defenders.
The win meant that Lesotho walked away with the winners’ prize of a trophy, winner’s medal, and 500,000. Runners up Ghana got 300,000 while Togo defeated Cape Verde 2-1 to take home 200,000 as Third Place playoff winners.
Chairman of Ajeromi Ifelodun LGA, Hon. Fatai Adekunle Ayoola who was in attendance said he took up sponsorship of the competition because the Mock Nations Cup tournament is one that has produced legends that have gone on to play for the Super Eagles hence the need to keep it alive.
He said, “I also participated in this competition growing up. So I cannot be here and allow the tradition to die. Sponsorship has been the challenge and that void is what we have come to fill.”
Director of Sports of Ajeromi Ifelodun Sports Council, McAnthony Anaelechukwu explained that “the resurrection of the competition happened through a partnership between the Sports Council and Ajegunle Youths Football Association. I intend to put in place structures that will outlive me in office and I hope for a bigger and better event when another edition begins in September.”
The Mock Nation Cup tournament brings together football teams to compete with names of African nations and has produced the likes of Samson Siasia, Emmanuel Amuneke. Taribo West, Ifeanyi Udeze amongst others.