The Golden Run of the Seals Cup Debutants Came to an End

The stellar clean-sheet run of MBBS from group stage till quarter finals came to an end in a painful 1:0 loss against Political Sciences in the semi-finals on 23rd of October at SUB pitch, UI.

The match kicked off at exactly 4:57 PM and the opponents quickly got a corner kick that was taken care of by MBBS defenders. Dave and Habeeb controlled the midfield beautifully giving the opponents reasons to be more alert of dangerous passes into the final third. In the fifth minute, a long ball into the Political Sciences’ final third was properly handled by an MBBS defender until an attacking opponent rushed him and slipped in the 18-yard box. Surprisingly, the referee pointed to the penalty spot, awarding the opponents a penalty. This came as a shock to the stands because no one expected that call from the referee. Players on the pitch protested the call but the referee stood on his decision and called for the ball to be placed on the spot. Upon the referee’s whistle, the taker gently shot the ball into the left corner of the net, taking Political Sciences ahead by a goal.

Mark Obeya charged his players up to forget about that moment and fight for an equalizer. The forwards won a few fouls which they used to register big chances that, unfortunately, didn’t yield a goal. No goal was scored from any side until the referee blew the half-time whistle. At this time, murmurs ensued from the stands about how the seemingly wrong call from the fifth minute destroyed the game and the referee should be blamed. Nevertheless, the coach commended his boys and encouraged them to get their heads back into the game and use their chances well.

The second half was underway at exactly 5:37 PM and chants of Ibadan Medicine filled the pitch. The atmosphere was charged and everyone could see it in the play on the pitch. Basit, the team’s captain, got a second ball from the corner and registered a shot that missed the net by an inch over the crossbar. John Eriomala charged up the atmosphere whilst chanting Ibadan, and medical students replied Medicine. Some minutes later, the coach made his first substitution of the game, bringing on Istanbul for Ola. More chances from MBBS forwards were neutralised by the opponents and Obeya, in an attempt to reinforce the attack, brought on Fu’aad for Seyi. At that point, MBBS were desperately looking for a goal. Habeeb got three chances that went off target and people suspected pressure was taking a toll on him. After a few corner kicks which Political Sciences’ goalie saved and a counter from their attack, the referee blew the full-time whistle.

Political Sciences students stormed the pitch in celebration, happy that they had qualified to play in the finals. And on the other hand, medical students had their faces down, sad and pained that the journey ended there. Concerned fans still referenced the penalty as the sole determinant of how the game played out in the end, although nothing could be changed after the whistle. The coach remained brave, urged his players to gather together, and commended them for their good run which had to end in a very painful way.

On the bright side, there are still other cups to fight for as a department. The University of Ibadan felt the energy of the medics right from the first group stage game until the semi-finals. A run of 10 goals – with no goal conceded – in 5 games is indeed stellar and they hope to be back soon. Political Sciences will be facing Philosophy in the finals on Friday, 27th of October.

Peter Adeyemo.

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