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Optima Energy Gold Cup: Shooting Stars Seal Semifinal Spot, As Remo Stars Feast On Gateway

Shooting Stars maintained its 100 per cent win record in the 10th edition of the Optima Energy Gold Cup after they defeated FC Ebedei 2-1 to qualify for the semifinal.

It was three wins out of three for the Gbenga Ogunbote side, as they came from behind to pepper the newly promoted Nigeria National League (NNL) side.

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The Oluyole Warriors got a scare after FC Ebedei took a half-time lead from a penalty in the 26th minute. Ibrahim Opebi made no mistake, as he smashed it home for the Oliseh and beyond the reach of goalkeeper Udo.

Shooting Stars had to wait for another 35 minutes to level things after Olabode Olaitan sent in a lovely one from a free kick.

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With eight minutes to end the game, Joshua Akpan punished a 10-man FC Ebedei with 3SC’s second goal of the morning and his fourth in the Optima Energy Gold Cup.

The victory sees Shooting Stars regain their top spot in the Group B log with 9 points followed by Sporting Lagos on 7 points.

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Meanwhile, it was a six-goal thriller in Ikenne as Remo Stars made a meal out of Gateway United. The game saw Olarenwaju Francis scoring a brace for Gateway United and Samuel Anakwe getting a second hat-trick in the preseason tournament.

The Optima Energy Gold Cup defending champions were punished within four minutes after Gateway United took a two-goal lead.

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Olarenwaju beat the offside flag to put the ball past Edafe Vincent for the first goal of the game. He then went on a double profiting from Remo Stars’ sloppy defending to make it 2-0 in the 10th minute.

Remo Stars then got a lifeline in the 27th minute as Samuel Anakwe pulled one back for Remo Stars from an assist from Godwin Odibo.

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Six minutes after, Junior Nduka showed why he’s captain fantastic scoring with a beautiful free kick to make it 2-2.

It was a one-sided second half as Remo Stars cruised past a helpless Gateway United, to earn the second win of the campaign.

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Anakwe put Remo Stars ahead nodding into Gateway United’s goal from Edozie Ewelike’s cross, for his second goal of the match.

He then completed his hat-trick in the 78th from a well-worked free-kick before he latches onto another assist from Ewelike.

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