Viareggio Cup: Beyond Limits defeats Ojodu City to meet Centre National Brazzaville in final

The team from Remo won the Nigerian derby on Saturday to reach the final for the first time, where they will face Congolese opposition in the first all-African final in the tournament’s history.

Arierhi Kparobo and Isaac Chukuwudi scored the goals that handed Beyond Limits FA a 2-1 victory against Ojodu City in the first all-Nigerian semifinal at the Viareggio Cup, reports

The tournament’s leading scorer, Hafiz Umar Ibrahim, got one back for the Ojodu Tigers to take his tally to 10 so far. But his first-half equaliser was not enough.

Kparobo scored in the third minute after he beat defender Habeeb Olokotintin for pace and fired past goalkeeper Saheed Owolabi.

Ibrahim got the Ojodu Tigers level on eleven minutes shortly after Chukwudi had missed an opportunity to send Beyond Limits into a two-goal lead but a late clearance by Michael Hosea denied him.

But Chukwudi came good in the second half as he pounced on a cross into the box and nodded past Owolabi to make it 2-1.

Beyond Limits Football Academy ahead of their semifinal game against Ojodu City FC in the Viareggio Cup on Saturday, February 24, 2024. Photo by Raji Muzamil

Despite the many chances that came the way of the Tigers, they could not convert and were left deflated by the final whistle.

Both team coaches, Olumide Ajibolade and Paul Ogunlaja, shook hands and hugged afterward. Their paths had crossed several times this year, and this latest match promises to be one of many to come for the two exciting football organisations.

Ojodu Cit
Ojodu City FC ahead of their semifinal game against Beyond Limits FA in the Viareggio Cup on Saturday, February 24, 2024. Photo by Raji Muzamil

“I’m proud of the team, of our effort so far in the tournament,” coach Ajibolade said at the end of the game. “I’m also grateful for the effort that the boys put in and for the general organization of the tournament.”

Coach Ajibolade also had kind words for the Ojodu Tigers: “I think Ojodu City were worthy competitors. I think we had to dig in very deep to get this result. They should be proud of themselves. It’s their first time coming to Europe, their first time in the Viareggio Cup, and their first time in the semis. It’s a journey that they should be proud of.”

All African Final

Beyond Limits will face Congolese side Centre Nationale Brazzaville in the final on Monday. CNB defeated Nigerian team Mavlon FC 1-0 in the other semi-final through a goal from Declan Rayan Moussavou. Moussavou has scored five goals in the tournament.

It is the first time two African teams will play in the final of the Viareggio Cup in 75 years. The first African team to participate in the competition was an Algerian team 40 years ago.

The first Nigerian participant in the tournament was FC Abuja in 2016.

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