TCC Season Review - Beyond Limits
Are there any Limits Beyond this group? Perhaps so.
A third consecutive league title that sets them apart from the field, and already makes the task of catching them difficult. This is a dynasty, and to stake a claim for the crown would take a gargantuan effort. This isn’t the Dance of Dragons, it is the King’s Gambit. Whether it be Coach Olumide Ajibolade’s tactical nous, the leadership of Onyebuchi Obasi, or the guile of Muyideen Olude, the steadiness of Aputaziem Favour or the excitement that Kparhobo Ariehi brings, this is style, infused with grace and swagger. This is the TCC’s most fearsome prospect, this is Beyond Limits FA, three-time Champions of the TCC League, and the story of the third of their title wins.
Arriving with a target on their backs after consecutive title wins, the Sky Blue Stars begun their title defence with a 3-0 win over Iganmu. However, that was the honeymoon, and it was swiftly over, with Atlantic Business edging them 2-1, new boys, Sporting Lagos holding them to a battling 1-1 draw and Valiant picking their pound of flesh in a 3-3 draw.
Those results provoked questions, and it proved a wake up call. Coach Ajibola’s message got across, the boys listened and the wins followed, 2-0 at Gbagada in the Clasico, 3-1 against Dino in the Ogun Derby, 3-0 over Broad City, and a thrilling 4-2 win over Imperial. But just as Denzel Washington told Will Smith, “Watch out, it is at your highest the devil comes for you.” The devil did come for Coach Ajibolade’s team, and it was in the form of Dannaz, who brought them back to earth with a 4-0 shellacking. It was the worst way to end the first half of the season.
Fool me once? Lightning did strike twice, and Beyond Limits would fail to pick a point against Dannaz, the only team to avoid defeat against them in the league. Form is temporary, and class is permanent, and that did show in the following weeks. The Sky Blue Stars did the double over Imperial with a 1-0 win to go into the Christmas break, and it was Sayonara from thereon after the mid-season break.
Doing the double over Broad City without conceding a goal, putting laid to rest their Cup final nightmares against Dino by doing the double over them with a 3-0 win; and then doing a first double over Gbagada with a 2-1 win; and then came the 6-0 hiding of Valiant where the party had begun with another league title in sight. A 2-1 win over Sporting Lagos all but affirmed their status as League champions, and the procession would continue against Atlantic Business, where they claimed another big win. The coronation in itself was worthy of note, with a 5-2 smashing of Iganmu a fitting result. It was the season summed up.
In the Cup, there was more pain, and Coach Ajibolade was left asking more questions about what was. A 3-0 win over Gbagada was the perfect start, a goalless draw with Atlantic Business followed, and then a bye week, and then progress, which was confirmed with a 2-1 win over Sporting Lagos in what many tagged the group of death. A 1-0 win over Valiant sealed top spot and handed a favorable quarter-final draw against Iganmu. It was a party, seven without reply, the biggest win in TCC history. It brought huge expectations and devastating heartbreak. Gbagada stood in the way, a fourth meeting between both sides in the season; one that ended in a draw and required the lottery of penalties. They would lose Ultimately on spot kicks, and they would become the first team to not lose in 90 minutes in the new TCC Cup format but fail to win the Trophy, regardless it was a season to remember.