Remo Stars started their Optima Energy Gold Cup defence in a soft landing after they came from behind late in the game to force their noisy neighbours Sunshine Stars to a one-all draw at the Remo Stars Stadium in Ikenne.
Both teams took the game as not just a preseason match, but one with a view of claiming the southwest bragging rights.
The game was soaked and tense with flashes of cards and moments of madness, but the match official took control of the game as he issued two straight red cards, one a piece for both teams and the same number in penalties.
It was goalless after 17 minutes of . and a minute later the unthinkable happened after the ref issued two marching orders; one to last edition Optima Energy Gold Cup top scorer and Remo Stars striker Andy Okpe and Sunshine Stars Mutiu Dauda for a visibly but uncontrolled dissent.
With a man down for both teams, the tempo of the game became calm as both teams failed to score in the half.
Action resumed in the second half and it was Sunshine Stars that got the better of Remo Stars, as their effort was rewarded with a penalty in the 73rd minute for a deliberate handball in the box.
Vincent Temitope, made no mistake as he sent Remo Stars goalkeeper Edafe Vincent the wrong way from the spot kick to put the Owenna Whales in front.
As the game got to the 90th minute, Remo Stars were awarded a penalty on the stroke of added time, and ‘Captain Fantastic’, Nduka Junior expertly converted it to even the scoreline.
In the second 3 pm fixture at the FC Ebedei Stadium, the Oliseh Boys were made to rue their countless misses as they failed to punish Sporting Lagos, who also had theirs.
Sporting Lagos then secured the maximum 3 points to record their first victory in the Optima Energy Gold Cup with a 72nd-minute winner.
They broke the deadlock with a tap-in after Sanni Emmanuel pounced on a spilt ball by FC Ebedei goalkeeper, off a well-taken free kick from Taro Seun.