Progress Comprehensive High School boys from Osun State have won the 2017 edition of COPA Coca-Cola U-15 tournament and are now in full celebratory mood after weeks of hard won and tension-filled matches, with each players smiling home with N500, 000 cash prize for Education Trust Fund.
The victory came after Osun boys defeated the Imo State boys at the National Final match played at the Onikan stadium, Lagos Island on Friday.
Osun State’s emergence as champions of this year’s edition of the tournament ended weeks of football matches that started with over 5000 schools and 110,000 players from across 36 states of the federation including the FCT.
Determined and focused all through the tension filled final match that ended in a 1-0 score line, both teams put up a strong spirited fight for the trophy and the mouth-watering education trust fund. In the end, it can be said that the better team won as the Osun boys pulled an ace from their hat with a narrow victory.
Speaking on the memorable day, the Marketing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Patricia Jemibewon congratulated the 2017 COPA Coca-Cola champions for their outstanding performances in the tournament, stating that their hard work and team spirit earned them the victory. “We are forever committed to unlocking the potentials of exceptionally talented teenagers because we believe in their passion.”
Captain of the winning team, Lawal Ismail, who was unable to control his happiness, shed tears of joy and declared that he was overwhelmed and grateful to Coca-Cola for the chance to participate in the tournament.
The second place winners, Owerri City College, Imo State, were given a reason to smile home after losing out on the precious trophy when each player received a cash prize of N300, 000 education trust fund while Government Junior Secondary School, Katsina were also not left out of celebration with each player receiving cash prize of N200, 000 education trust fund. Others winners celebrated at the grand finale was the best goalkeeper throughout the tournament, Moses Aluko of FOSLA Academy, Abuja, Most Valuable Player of the tournament, Adesina Kumater of FOSLA Academy, Abuja, and Highest Goal Scorer of the tournament, Henry Williams of Owerri City College, Imo, who will be joined by 5 other players to visit COPA Coca-Cola International Camp in South Africa later in the year.
The match event was graced by top officials from the Federal Government, Lagos state government, the National School Sports Federation (NSSF), Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Senior Staff of Coca-Cola, ex-football internationals, Austin J.J Okocha, Kanu Nwankwo and others.
The guests and spectators at Onikan stadium were electrified by musical performance from popular Nigerian hip-hop artistes, Lil Kesh and Ycee.