Big Boys, Big Bullies; An Overview of the Wale Okediran Quarter-Finals

The annual Wale Okediran football competition kicked off on Saturday, 8th, May 2021, with the most anticipated game of the quarter-finals between the Excelsiors(Part 4b) and the Exypnos Medicos(Part 3). The Obafemi Awolowo University Medical Students Association (IFUMSA) sports committee decided to adopt a one-legged knockout format this year, contrary to last year’s group stage format.

The pairings saw the youngest class, The Tenacious draw three times champions the Eximus Grandis, who happen to be in their penultimate year. The defending champions, the Stalwarts (part 4a), draw the Unicus Medicus (part 2), which left the soon-to-be doctors (part 6) with no other option than to join the tournament in the semi-final stages.

The first game of the round between the Excelsiors and the Exypnos Medicos kicked off at 8 am. The pairing, which had been predicted to be the toughest lived up to its expectations. However, the seniors proved to be worthy seniors not only in knowledge but also on the pitch with a beautiful display in the first half, which saw them grab the lead from a corner kick by Misbahudeen which was nodded in by Chika. This happened to be the only attempt on goal the Excelsiors could get and was enough to secure them a spot in the next round. The Exypnos Medicos players gave it all they had in the second half. However, they still could not grab an equaliser after an outstanding performance by the Excelsiors goalkeeper, which saw him make five beautiful saves in the game. The Excelsiors progressed to the next round, leaving the Exypnos Medicos heartbroken and no other option than to try their luck again next year.

The second game of the round between the Tenacious and the Eximus Grandis kicked off at 4 pm on the same day as the opener. This match almost proved to be a shocker as the freshmen displayed their tenacity by grabbing the lead in the first half after their talisman, Rotimi, passed the ball to Ademola, who was in a comfortable position and made no mistake in slotting the ball past Kaybee. The Eximus Grandis created a couple of chances in the second half, which was met with a very strong defence. However, they were finally able to grab an equaliser through their top striker Maximilian towards the end of the game. The outcome of the game was then decided with a penalty shootout which ended 4-3 in favour of the Eximus Grandis. The Tenacious is left to console themselves with the fact that it was their first attempt in the competition and they seem to have a very bright future ahead of them.

The quarter-final round ended with the game between defending champions Stalwart Lions and the Unicus Medicus. Both teams met last year in the group stage match, which ended 4-0 in favour of the stalwarts, and the Unicus was looking to get sweet revenge. The game took place on Sunday, 9th May 2021, at about 4 pm. The Stalwarts proved to be worthy lions after a beautiful display which saw them three-goal up in the first half. The goals were scored by Japheth, Seun Faks and Ayodeji. The Unicus gave their best in the second half but there was little they could do to reduce the three-goal deficit.

The quarter-final results mean that the three preclinical classes have, altogether, been sent packing from the competition as the senior classes were too much to handle.

The Excelsiors will be facing the Eximus Grandis in the semis, while the Stalwarts will be facing the Novitalis. Although the quarter-finals were quite entertaining, the semis promises to be more entertaining as the winners of both ties will face off in the final as all roads lead to Mainbowl.

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