It was a dramatic end to the 2014 edition of the Channels National Kids Cup with Toyibat Primary School, Gbagada, Lagos, emerging champions 8-7 on penalties.
It was tough for the kids after the game ended in a 0-0 score line and it dawned on the players that they were heading for penalties and all their efforts during regulation would not count anymore if they failed to convert their spot kicks.
Both teams converted 3 of their 5 regular spot kicks and it was an avalanche of nerves for the players, their coaching crew and spectators when it became a sudden death situation.
The Toyibat goalkeeper produced moments of heroics, denying the boys from Ebutte Meta from clinching the glory twice when they had the opportunity to seal it.
In tears both teams’ supporters prayed, yelled and mustered the little energy left in them to encourage their players to go for it, but in the end, after looking dead and buried on two occasions, Toyibat Primary School got lucky with the final pair of spot kicks.
“With faith there is no mountain that cannot be moved” were the words of an elated Toyibat Coach, Godwin Peters, who had earlier predicted a regulation time victory for his team during the half time.
Likening them to the Rock of Gibraltar, he admitted that the Ebutte Metta Primary School boys were indeed hard nuts to crack, as both teams played quality football but divine help brought the victory.
Ibukun Adetoro of Dr Teslim Elias Primary School emerged as the Golden Boot winner, while the Most Valuable Player was Ayomide Adesina of IMG Primary School from Oyo State.
Other individual awards were also presented to outstanding talents during the tournament with Jude Ibe of 12 Apostles Primary School, Ebonyi State, emerging as the Best Goalkeeper and the Coach of IMG Primary School, Seyi Adewunmi, deservedly named Coach of the Tournament.
The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, and his Delta State counterpart, Emmanuel Uduaghan were present at the stadium to support the kids, alongside the Initiator of the competition, the Chairman of Channels Television, Mr John Momoh.
Other State Governors were also represented at the event with several dignitaries from the public and private sector showing their support for the developmental project.
The Channels National Kids Cup competition is sponsored by Channels Television, with the support of the Lagos State Football Association, the Delta State Government and Golden Penny company.