Defending champions Super Eagles FC and last season’s runners-up Ghana FC are set to renew their rivalry in the Men’s Division Final as the semifinal round of the 7’s Football League unfolded earlier at the McKinley Hill Stadium.
First seed Super Eagles dismantled fourth seed Delimondo Laro FC 4-1, while second seed Ghana FC prevailed over third seed Bohemians SC 1-0.
Despite an early assault on goal by Delimondo Laro, the defending champions later coasted to a comfortable win with forward Ebere Ogochukwu scoring two goals, while Femi Ogunende and Charles Ujam scored one goal each. Takeshi Odawara got the lone consolation goal for the losing side.
Delimondo Laro had numerous opportunities to scored the opening goal but Aly Borromeo and Odawara’s early chances were both saved by Super Eagles goalkeeper Abu Ibrahim. Joaco Canas also put his wide open attempt wide of the goal.
The missed chances came to haunt them as the Nigerian squad started to click, with Ogunende scoring the first goal from a rebound. Ogochukwu scored a close-range effort then added a exquisite finish in the second half. Substitute Ujam later capitalized on Delimondo Laro’s poor defending getting his goal. Odawara converted a penalty awarded from foul accumulation as a late consolation for his side.
On the other hand, the Ghanaian squad did not have it easy as they relied on a last-minute goal to survive a spirited performance from Mikee Carrion’s Bohemians squad.
Daniel Matsunaga and Dje Dje all missed close attempts for Bohemians as Ghana opted to rely on their defending prowess to keep them in bay. The Ghanaians also had limited opportunities on goal as they were restricted to long-range attempts which are easily saved by goalkeeper Kele Ogbonna.
The match seemed to head into extra time but last season’s runners-up conjured a moment of magic in the dying moments as substitute David Asare produced a sizzling long-range strike off Junior Sam’s saved effort to get the win.
In the women’s division, lower seeds OutKast FC and Stallion-Hiraya FC both produced big upset wins to arrange their meeting in the Final.
Big performances from national team veterans Natasha Alquiros and Camille Rodriguez propelled fourth seed Stallion-Hiraya to contain and topple an seemingly unstoppable side in first seed Bohemians SC 4-2, while third seed OutKast proved to be the tougher side as they outlasted second seed Manila Nomads FC in an action-filled match, 2-1.
The men’s and women’s finals will be played at the McKinley Hill Stadium next Sunday, May 12.