Sunshine Stars, City FC of Abuja and Supreme Kings of Umuahia swelled the number of teams that have sealed quarter final tickets to five after they recorded results good enough for places in the next round of the Governor Okezie Ikpeazu Preseason Tournament holding in Aba.
The tournament entered its fourth day on Wednesday with Supreme Kings and Jewels Academy recording commendable results against Nigeria Professional Football League sides, Abia Warriors and Sunshine Stars in the Group B games played at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba- the venue for the tournament.
Supreme Kings who are currently second in Group B with four points and a plus one goals difference secured a quarter final place after holding ‘Almighty’ Abia Warriors to a goalless draw. They had lost by a lone goal to Sunshine Stars in the second game. Supreme Kings also defeated Jewels Academy 3-1.
Abia Warriors who finished second to Enyimba in the debut edition of the tournament are on the cusp of elimination after successive draws with Sunshine Stars and Supreme Kings. They are in a must win situation against Jewels Academy today in the final group games.
Jewels Academy also bagged their first point in the tournament after a hard earned goalless draw against Sunshine Stars. The draw was enough to seal the Owena Whales’ place in the last eight. They have five points from three games but Jewels Academy must beat Abia Warriors if they are to qualify as well.
In Group A, Enyimba are atop with six points and are the first team to qualify for the quarter final. They have an inconsequential tie with already eliminated Ngwa United today but they can afford to play with a second string side because the game’s outcome is of no effect to the People’s Elephant. Ngwa United, who once stunned Sunshine Stars in the Federation Cup some years back, will however be playing for pride.
Also in Group A, City FC managed to qualify for the next round as second in the group with four points with zero goals difference despite playing a 1-1 draw against Ahudiya FC who finished third. Justin Dominic and Godwin Chima with goals for either sides. The Abiriba based side improved to four points but with minus two goals difference. They are favoured to qualify as one of the two best third teams.
While in Group C, Apex Krane stormed to the top of the group with six points from two games from wins over South City and Jaguar. They and Enyimba are the only teams with 100 percent record. The Delta State club will trade tackles with Empire City aware that they could afford to rest their key men ahead of the quarter final duel on Friday.
Maduka Emmanuel’s double earned South City their first victory of the competition against Empire Academy and it boosted their chances of qualifying from Group C. Invited as a late replacement for Heartland FC, South City narrowly lost 2-1 to Apex Krane and a draw against Jaguar Academy today will guarantee them a spot in the quarter final.
The second edition of the Governor Okezie Ikpeazu Preseason Tournament has Ugochukwu Onosike as the Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) with the Abia State Commissioner for Sports, Karibe Ojigwe as General Coordinator.
Enyimba pipped Abia Warriors 1-0 in the final of the inaugural edition.
Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu Preseason Tournament Results
Day One: November 20, 2022
Supreme Kings 3-1 Jewels
Empire 2-2 Jaguar
Enyimba 2-0 City FC
Day Two November 21, 2022
Ngwa United 0-1 AHUDIYA
South City 1-2 Apex Krane
Abia Warriors 1-1 Sunshine Stars
Day Three November 22, 2022:
Enyimba 3-0 AHUDIYA FC
Sunshine Stars 1-0 Supreme Kings
City FC 2-0 Ngwa United
Apex Krane 1-0 Jaguar FC
Day Four November 23, 2022
South City 2-0 Empire Academy
Supreme Kings 0-0 Abia Warriors
Sunshine Stars 0-0 Jewels Academy
AHUDIYA FC 1-1 City FC
Final Group Games (Day 5) November 24, 2022:
9am: Abia Warriors vs Jewels Academy
11:30am: Jaguar vs South City
1:30 pm: Empire Academy vs Apex Krane
3:30pm: Ngwa Utd vs Enyimba