College of Commerce, Warri today entered the league of football champions after it defeated Zappa Mixed Secondary School, Asaba two nil to lift the trophy of the 2019 edition of the Zenith Bank Delta Principals’ Cup competition.
he encounter which held at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba saw both team that were equally matched making daring moves into the vital areas of each other, seeking early goals. But their efforts yielded no fruit as the first half ended goalless.
On resumption at second half, both teams came on strong attempting to outdo the opponent, but the play remained a dig-dong affair, as the players of both sides missed many scoring chances.
However, College of Commerce danger man, Ime Ekemini, broke through, when he slithered through the Zappa Mixed Secondary School’s defense and netted in the curtain raiser for his team.
Ekemini again, about 10 minutes to the end of the game capitalized o Zappa’s defensive error, and in a goal mouth scramble, he secured the second goal to the faith of the opponents.
Efforts by Zappa Mixed Secondary School to reduce the goal tally became a mirage, as some daring last minute moves failed to give them the goal.
College of Commerce carted away juicy prizes that included an 18 seater brand new bus and the sum of N1,000,000 cheque.
Besides, the school also produced the highest goal scorer of the tournament, Ime Ekemini, who was also the most valuable player of the tournament.
Ekemini receive cash prizes each for emerging the highest goal scorer and the most valuable player. He got N200,000 each as most valuable player with laptop, another N200,000 for being the highest goal scorer and a laptop. He received yet N100,000 donated by a football lover as the most valuable player.
The best goalkeeper award went to the goalkeeper of College of Commerce, Orido David who received a cheque for N200,000 and a laptop as prizes.
For placing second, hard fighting Zappa Mixed Secondary School, Asaba received cash prize of N500,000; Destiny Secondary School, Ughelli for placing third in the tournament got a cheque for N300,000, while the fourth placed Okotie-Eboh Grammar School, Sapele got N100,000.
The final which was also watched by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state and other distinguished top government functionaries that included Mr. Pinnick Amaju, the governor attributed the greatness of the state in sports to the seed sown by the late military governor of Bendel State, Brigadier General Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia.
He said that Ogbemudia pioneered the concept of catching athletes young and developed it through regular competitions among the young people and their schools.
Okowa, who commended Zenith Bank for sustained sponsorship of the tournament, said “it is gladdening to note that we have kept hope alive, and partnering with Zenith Bank, this competition has entered its fourth edition for which I must truly pay tribute to the management of Zenith Bank for consistently funding the competition.
“We started it four years ago and it is a beautiful thing that most schools are participating in the tournament; we have progressed as we have the Headmaster’s Cup and the others involving various categories of athletes.
“It is good that we are reinventing this competition; during the time of late Samuel Ogbemudua as the Governor of Bendel State we were made to understand that we can use our physical strength to develop our talents in the educational sector.
“It is on record that 612 schools participated in this edition of the tournament from the beginning and it is my hope that every secondary school in our state will participate in the competition as you can imagine the level of excitement in those schools that participated and the raw talents that we have discovered in this tournament.
“We are looking forward to the bank taking over the sponsorship of the Headmasters’ Cup and we will continue to also encourage well-to-do Deltans to sponsor events and partner with us in developing our state knowing that government cannot do everything alone; we need to collaborate in making life more beautiful for our people.
“We have made a promise that the winner of the tournament will go home with a bus and the bus is available, but the most important thing is that we are able to catch them young and develop their talents.
“As we go into the future, we nurture the talents to remain at the top in any sporting competition organized in the country; I am happy with the quality of football I am seeing this evening.”
In his remarks, Executive Director of Zenith Bank, Mr Henry Okoh, on behalf of the managing director of the bank, assured that the bank would continue to be part of the tournament as part of its social responsibility and thanked Okowa for his passion in the development of sports.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Chief Patrick Ukah, commended Governor Okowa for giving the necessary support for the tournament to be held and expressed gratitude to him.