A clearing and forwarding company, Ocean Star Shipping, owned by Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, last Friday defeated Maritime Millionaires, the highly rated football team of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in the first semi-final match of the ongoing 5th Ships & Ports Maritime Cup Competition at theAstro Turf, National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos by a lone goal.
Ocean Star’s goal was scored in the 42nd minute of the first half by jersey number nine, Femi Otunla.
Ocean Star, which is participating in the competition for the first time, qualified for the semi-final by defeating Nigerian Navy 2-1 last Wednesday.
The company will face defending champion, Nigeria Customs Service in the final match of the competition, which will be played at the National Stadium, Surulere on tomorrow.
Customs, which had earlier defeated last year’s runner-up, Micura Stevedoring Services by three goals to one, secured its third consecutive final match ticket by defeating ENL Consortium 2-1 in the second semi-final match played last Friday evening at the Astro Turf, National Stadium.
Abubakar Mukaila scored Customs’ first goal in the first half, while Joseph Edet scored the second goal.
ENL Consortium’s only goal was scored by Deji Abolarin.
ENL Consortium will play the third place match against NIMASA.
Akinola decries violence at match venue
Chief Executive Officer of Ships & Ports Communication, Mr. Bolaji Akinola, has decried the violence that almost marred the Wednesday quarter final match between Micura Stevedoring Services and the Nigerian Navy as well as the semi-final match between ENL Consortium and the Nigeria Customs Service in the ongoing 5th Ships & Ports Maritime Cup Competition.
Both matches were played in the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
Akinola said that the violence during both matches were uncalled for and were not in consonance with the spirit of the Maritime Cup Competition.
“We did not create this competition to become a breeding ground for hooliganism or violence. This competition was created to serve as a platform where maritime industry operators can interact freely without any form of acrimony. We set out to build friendship but the way some of the participating teams are going about it all is quite disheartening”, Akinola said shortly after the semi-final match between Customs and ENL Consortium ended.
Akinola said that any of the participating teams stand the risk of being disqualified from participating in future editions of the competition if they and their fans fail to conduct themselves in peaceful and orderly manner.
Akinola also charged the police to live up to its responsibility of providing adequate security during the remaining matches of the competition.
“The Police has been duly informed of this competition and they have been present during all matches but now that the competition has entered a very critical stage, there is need for the Police to beef up security by deploying more men to the venue of the final match on Tuesday”, he said.
Views from NIMASA, Ocean Star semi-final match
The match was quite good and officiating quite commendable. As for NIMASA (Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency) team, I think people should learn how to accept defeat. Normally when people are defeated, they are bound to say one or two things. If you are a sports lover you don’t need to bother yourself about all those things, believing the referees have done their best. We are looking forward to defeating Nigeria Customs (in the final match). I am not particular about ENL Consortium, but Nigeria Customs. I want Ocean Star to defeat Customs, because they defeated us the other time under NAGAFF (National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders). Ocean Star, you know, is a great company associated with NAGAFF. I’ll love to see Ocean Star meet Customs, but, if it happens we meet ENL, then so be it.
Dr. Boniface Aniebonam
Chief Executive Officer, Ocean Star Shipping
Officiating was terrible
We lost by a lone goal, but officiating was very poor, I must confess. It seems the referees were compromised, but sincerely, we go home to prepare for the third place. It’s a game, but we know the officiating was terrible.
At least, we had a fair officiating in the previous games, but, here, it is obvious the officiating was poor. It’s a game, though we didn’t score any goal. It’s a game.
NIMASA Team Manager
Well, it was a good game. We expected to be at the final, but it’s football, so we’ll wait for next year. We gave our best, and, like I said, it’s football, though officiating could have been better. We gave our best, but we lost today and the better team won. Yes, we kept receiving encouragement from our DG (Director-General), but, perhaps, if he were here, maybe the boys would have been looking at something.
NIMASA Maritime Millionaires Team Captain
I’m so happy! About three years ago, when we represented NAGAFF, we came so close to the semi-finals, but we lost out to Customs. Then last season, the season before now, we were not up to standard because of lack of preparation. This time around, because we hadn’t a good relationship with the management of NAGAFF, we decided to take over Ocean Star and, to God be the glory, we are in the finals. As at now, I don’t mind meeting Super Eagles… no team is unbeatable.
Ocean Star Team Coach
We are not afraid of any team
You know that winners are always happy. After our first game somebody asked me that what if we, as the defending champions, lose? I told him that well there is nothing wrong in starting badly and ending very well because the more we play the more we improve. When you depend on God everything is always possible. As regards playing against Ocean Star in the finals, even ENL and NIMASA have been eager to play us in the finals. We are not afraid of them. This is not the first time, this is not the second time, this is the third time and by God’s grace; I am going to claim the cup for keeps.
Coach, Nigeria Customs Service