Afolabi Olatunbosun seals FA Cup glory for Osun United as Omoluabi Giants Claim Second Consecutive Title

Afolabi Olatunbosun

In a tense final showdown between Osun United FC and Hammola FC, it was centre defender, Afolabi Olatunbosun who emerged as the hero, securing victory for the Omoluabi Giants with a crucial penalty in the 73rd minute.

Afolabi Olatunbosun

The match was evenly poised, with both teams battling fiercely for the coveted Osun State FA Cup trophy at the Osogbo Township Stadium.

Throughout the game, both teams displayed impressive performances, with Hammola FC starting on the front foot, seeking to secure an early advantage. However, winger Amosa Ismail’s attempt in the 8th minute saw the ball veer wide of the net.

Shortly after, Lee Bombers’ winger Adetunji Taofeek had another chance but sent the ball soaring over the crossbar from outside the box.

Osun United had their first opportunity in the 12th minute when Emmanuel Essiens stepped up for a free kick following a foul from outside the box. However, Hammola FC’s goalkeeper Salaudeen Saheed punched away Essiens’ powerful shot.

Moments later, there were appeals for a penalty from the Oluseye Ajayi-led side after Emmanuel Essien was brought down in the box by Olaniyan Abdullahi Gbotemi, but the referee waved play-on.

Not relenting in their search for the opening goal, Osun United continued to push forward as danger man; Ismail Ayodele continued to threaten on the left wing. The Ilesha born winger was a constant threat, causing havoc with a couple of crosses, and coming within millimeters of scoring himself from close range.

The first half ended in a goalless draw and the beginning of the second half remained relatively quiet until the 55th minute when Osun United’s midfielder Ephraim broke through Hammola’s defense with a well-executed pass, setting up Ismail whose shot narrowly missed the target.

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Throughout the game, Hammola FC showed glimpses of their attacking capabilities, but it was Osun United who seized the opportunity to clinch victory.

The decisive moment came in the 73rd minute when Ismail Ayodele was brought down in the box by Hammola’s goalkeeper, Salaudeen Saheed, leading to a penalty for Osun United. Despite protests from Hammola FC fans and players, the referee’s decision stood, sealing Osun United’s triumph and Afolabi Olatunbosun confidently converted the penalty, securing the only goal of the match.

Afolabi Olatunbosun
Osun United’s Match Winner, Afolabi Olatunbosun.

Moments after the goal, Osun United’s head coach, Oluseye Ajayi, made strategic substitutions to maintain their advantage. Former Akwa United attacker Rilwan Sadiq and Sikiru were brought on to further bolsters Osun United’s attacking options, ensuring Hammola FC’s defense remained under constant pressure.

Afolabi Olatunbosun
Osun United players celebrate with FA Cup trophy at the Osogbo Township Stadium in Osogbo on March 30, 2024. The Omoluabi Giants on Saturday retained the State FA Cup after beating Hammola FC at the Osogbo Township Stadium in Osogbo. It was Osun United’s second consecutive cup triumph after they also won in 2023.

Following the final whistle, Osun United celebrated their hard-fought triumph, clinching their second consecutive Osun State FA Cup title. They won the last edition of the competition after defeating Igbajo United in final.

Both teams will now set their sights on representing Osun State well in the national Aiteo Federation Cup competition.