All is now set for the grand finale of the maiden edition of the Lagos Traders Cup competition, the competition is a Five a Side tournament which pitched major markets in Lagos state. It is organized by SNT SelSports Limited and supported by Telecommunication Giants, MTN. The competition began on the 20th of April, 2014 born out of the need to reward Traders who continue to be in the fore front of football followership and support for all Nigerian National teams; 32 teams started the competition from the group stage and all is now set for the Semi finals and Finals which would be played on the same day at the Campos Mini Stadium in Lagos Island.
The Four remaining Teams in the competition are Sandgrose Market, Obalende Market, Babalola Itire Market and Ilasamaja Zone 3 Market; all four teams have given a great account of themselves throughout the tournament and look poised to deliver excellent performances on the final day with the winning team expected to get an all expense paid trip to Brazil for their troubles and second and third prizes of N700,000 and N400,000 respectively.
At Halftimeng.com; we take a look at the four semi finalists, the star players from each team and the favourites going into the final day.
Sandgrouse Market are without a shadow of a doubt the favorites going into the semi final stage, they have played the best football so far in the tournament. The team comprises of nibble, fleet footed, young, talented players with good football brains. They are firmly at home on the pitch, make very good intelligent runs off the ball and make good use of the ball, however as with every team there is a psychological weakness in this team, once they take a two goal lead, they automatically take their foot off the gas. In the five matches they have played so far, the margin of victory has not been more than two goals; this is despite their total control of proceedings.
Player to Watch
Low Centre of gravity, intelligent on and off the ball; all things good about the Sandgrouse Market team goes through him. For Sandgrouse to go all the way, he has to be at the peak of his powers.
Obalende Market probably has the biggest team in this tournament in terms of the size and height of their players; they use their physical advantage to good effect, but also have a number of skillful and lethal players. If Sandgrouse plays to entertain; Obalende aims to get the job done with ruthless efficiency and with as less style as possible.
Player to watch
Talk about a tall, slim forward with a somewhat deceptive style and approach; Emmanuel is one of the main reasons Obalende are where they are today, accounting for over 50% of the teams goals.
Babalola Itire Market
Talk about a team that went through the group stages unnoticed, just getting bye with only a win; in the group stage they have however found their feet. Babalola Itire can be considered as dark horses in this tournament.
Player to watch
Left footed and deadly in front of goal, one of the top marksmen in this competition, the catalyst for Babalola finding their form in the knock out round.
Ilasamaja Zone 3
Talk about riding your luck, Ilasamaja Zone 3 qualified from a group where a toss of a coin was used to determine its fate. The team has grown in confidence as the competition progressed, out living its more illustrious neighbours Ilasamaja Zone 1. Ilasamaja 3 are ranked outsiders in this tournament.
Player to watch
Solid, competent and driven; Ilasamaja Zone 3 would be counting on him to drag the team to the promise land.
It promises to be a thrilling finale to a competition that has brought the best out of Lagos Traders coupled with the presence of some the big names in the Nigerian Entertainment scene expected to perform at the event; these include Kcee, Iyanya and Sean Tizzle. The spectators are not left out at all, with the best supporters expected to win the sum of N150,000 for backing their teams.
By Adeyemi Adesanya (@yemimanutd)