It was jubilation time for supporters of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan on Sunday after the club defeated visiting Wikki Tourists FC of Bauchi to escape relegation.
The victory meant the club will escape the drop from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) when the 2015/2016 season ends on Oct. 2.
A header from Samuel Olabisi in the 54th minute of the Match Day 37 game gave them the victory.
The tension-soaked match was the last home match for 3SC in the 2015/2016 NPFL season and was crucial to their final position on the league table.
Before the match, 3SC were 15th on the table with 44 points, while Wikki Tourists were third with 54 points.
The Ibadan-based club will visit Owerri for their last match of the season against hosts Heartland FC.
3SC’s Coach Gbenga Ogunbote told NAN that he was highly grateful to God for the escape, saying many people had believed that the club would be relegated.
“God has been faithful to me all the time. It is good to have confidence in God and your team. I have a very cordial relationship with players.
“I am the type who always wants my players to believe me and in what I believe,’’ he said.
Speaking on the possibility of his leaving the club for another clubs, Ogunbote said the season was not yet over and he was still contracted to 3SC.
The coach however said the first hurdle for him and the club had been crossed, and the next hurdle was to fortify the team to win laurels.
Similarly, Seun Akinyemi, the 3SC captain, told NAN that he was really happy for the victory and the team’s escape from relegation.
He said that many people did not believe that the team could escape relegation by the end of the 2015/2016 NPFL season.
“I am very happy that the club escaped relegation. We will now work very hard to lift the club back to its glorious old days,’’ Akinyemi said.
Yomi Oke, the Oyo State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, said the good old days have now come for 3SC.
“Government will give its best to returning the club to its victorious days,’’ he said.
Oke said the state government would soon unveil its blueprint on sports development, which he said was aimed at discovering talents from the grassroots.
He commended the 3SC fans, sponsors and other stakeholders for their unflinching support for the club, assuring them of better days ahead.