Lagos Dangote clinch Dapo Ojora Cup, Almat in open final
Lagos Dangote clinched the maiden Adedapo Ojora Memorial Cup with a 10 – 5 win over Malcomines of Jos at the 2022 NPA/GTCO Lagos International Polo Tournament, which will climax today with fanfare. The newly introduced cup marked the first of the six subsidiary titles to be won at the month-long international tournament
Both sides headed into the match having lost their opening ties and it was Mohammed Dangote, who opened the scoring with a low drive to give the Lagos side the lead but Argentine Andre Crespo levelled scores barely a minute later with a breakaway move.
Dangote, who also featured Adebayo Karim, Dorean Bolteau and Sylvester Donovan, regained their lead through their patron going to the second chukka. Further goals by Frenchman Bolteau and Dangote put the home team in control but
Crespo reduced the deficit to two goals for Malcomines – parading Haruna Kari, Fernando Munoz and Bello Buba – with a brilliant individual effort for a 4-2 scoreline heading to the third chukka which ended 6-3 as Dangote and Bolteau sustained their influences on the match.
“I can’t be happier today,” Lagos Dangote team patron, Baba Dangote, declared moments after the exciting final game. “Winning the maiden Dapo Ojora Cup this evening means everything for me. He was my mentor and I dedicate this victory to him and my daddy, Sani Dangote, he added with pride.
In the opening match of the day, Argentine six-goaler Manuel Crespo and Colombian Filipe were on fire as they spearheaded Petrogas Almat from Abuja to a narrow 6-5 win over STL of Lagos, to emerge winners of the stream and book a ticket for the Open Cup final.
The winners-take-all clash kept polo lovers on the edge of their seats till the last second as two quick fires by Chris Mackenzie kept STL within a touching distance to level the match but it was too late for the Seyi Tinubu patron team which also featured Yasin Amusan, Chris MacKenzie and Dirk Van Reenen.
Meanwhile, the festival’s biggest polo prize, the Majekodunmi Cup will be the star attraction as the prestigious Lagos international polo extravaganza enters its second stage Tuesday at the legendary Ribadu Road polo arena in Ikoyi.
Lagos Polo Tournament Manager, Seyi Oyinlola, confirmed that the second stage will run from February 14 and climax on February 20, 2022, with two Lagos’ teams and three visiting teams gunning for one of Africa’s most wanted polo titles, Majekodunmi Cup.
Two big subsidiary cups, the Italian Ambassador’s Cup and the Lagos Heritage Cup would add to the glamour of this international fiesta that started with fanfare on February 8 with 30 teams from across the country vying for honours.
Ahead of the winners-takes-all second stages, aficionados and polo buffs are already salivating at the chances of witnessing the crowning of the new champions of the highly revered 70-year old prize as titleholders, Leighton Kings seek to re-enact their impressive runs in 2020.
Other top contenders to the Majek Cup title include Maurice Ekpenyong’s Abuja Almat team, Murtala Laushi’s Jos Malcomines team, Bashir Dantata’s Kano Lintex and Bode Makanjuela Lagos Caverton team.